Thursday, May 29, 2008

PJ Harvey - Dry

PJ Harvey - Dry
by Lisa Oliver

Dry makes me feel like a loser. And it’s confusing. Not confusing like physics (if you throw a Toyota Yaris and a Hummer off a high-rise–they’re going to hit the ground simultaneously?), but confusing because people who I think have great taste love Dry. When I say I don’t like it, they give me the old stink-eye-to-eye-roll-to-exhale-of -pitying-air routine. Their non-verbal condescension speaks volumes; It says, “You are a rock charlatan.” To my uncouth ears Dry sounds like a dog yelping for air in a poorly-ventilated hatchback. And that dog can’t play guitar.

Much of the press for Dry praised its ability to challenge female sexuality. This album’s challenges to female sexuality are on the same level as a female comedian joking that eating a whole cheesecake over a kitchen sink with her hands gives her more pleasure than a man can. So many of Harvey’s lyrics remind me of the film Carrie: first comes the blood, then the boys. Is sex dirty? Am I dirty for wanting sex? Does my over-articulated sexuality make my hips look big? Do men make me unclean? Can I move things with my mind? Blah blah blah. Just own your bull’s eye, Polly Jean, and stop the hand-wringing. De Palma should remake Carrie and insert Harvey performing “Happy and Bleeding” into the shower/period scene with Harvey becoming a human shield against all those tampons being chucked at poor Sissy Spacek. And Stephen King deserves royalties for “Sheela-Na-Gig” because Harvey gives him the “dirty pillows” shout-out. Although I do have to admit “Dress” and “Plants and Rags” are decent because they sound the most fully fleshed and crafted. Plus she sings, as opposed to throttling them.

I’ve developed a theory researched with small empirical data sets–hello, academic credibility–postulating that P.J. Harvey is popular because she’s sexual, plays guitar, and isn’t unattractive. My algorithm goes: female ≥ attractive (fuck + guitar) = gentlemanly ear pricking.

Harvey is often lumped into the 90s women-in-rock movement. Erm…no. She doesn’t fall into the scented candle, furrowed brow school of Sarah McLaughlin, the bruised Pagan dream-catchers of Tori Amos, or Ani DiFranco’s tomboys-wearing-tank-tops-and-Doc -Marten’s coterie. (I do dig this movement, but I’m not a fully-paid up member.) But Polly doesn’t care about being an empowered WO-MYN. Her frisson of perplexed vulnerability makes that clear. She’s a lithe live wire of neurosis; anxious conflagration blazes out of her sinewy tendons.

John Peel’s (one of her biggest champions) review of her first single pointed out that her work is “admirable if not always enjoyable” –a very fair assessment–despite the fact Peel’s rationale is not the same as mine. He finds her emotional geyser uncomfortable to listen to whereas I find it a cheap and easy shot at intimacy. I find the clumsy cacophony of plinked, plunked notes and novice smoke and mirror time signatures to be not enjoyable. Still, there are things to admire. Despite the sonic miasma efforts, I still hear the bones of blues and punk–and that’s admirable. Also admirable is the fact that Dry is genuine musical footprint. It’s like looking at someone’s baby picture when they’re grown–you can see where that matured adult face came from. You can still hear the nascent yowling and fat guitars in later work, but her skill set, along with her confidence and self-actualization, has bloomed. Finally, Dry is admirable, if not enjoyable because it begins to set in motion P.J. Harvey’s ability to purge her pussy issues for inspiration, as opposed to flagellation.

Lisa Oliver is a Columbia-educated writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Stylus, The Fly UK, Musicweek UK, Yahoo! Music, NME, Publishers Weekly, Domino and People.


Monday, May 26, 2008


I owe Ian and readers an apology for delaying his post by a day. Happy Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Butthole Surfers - Electriclarryland

Butthole Surfers - Electriclarryland
by Ian Mathers

Maybe they just should have changed their name? The one common thread I've heard or read in fans' reactions to Electriclarryland is that they find it wanting compared to the Butthole Surfers' earlier, crazier material. Which is fair to an extent, I suppose; Electriclarryland is a rock album (albeit a weird one), as opposed to the band's roots in weird music (albeit with rock tinges). I didn't have the opportunity to check out the Buttholes' lengthy discography until years after my "Pepper"-loving teenage self bought Electriclarryland (and initially found it off-puttingly “difficult,”). I’m still not sure what I think of all that, but it's hard for me to fault this album for not being something it was never meant to be.

I mean, yes, if you were a diehard fan of the insanity that Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary, King Coffey and whoever else they could rope in produced on a regular basis, and you were expecting Electriclarryland to be more of the same, I could see it being a nasty shock in 1996. But get over it. Unless you're going to claim that bands just shouldn't change or try on a more conventional sound, it's kind of invalid to criticize this one from being different from the rest of the band's discography. I don’t expect diehards to like it, but isn't it more interesting to look at whether the album succeeds on the terms the band chose? Don’t fault the terms.

I don't care if Gibby and co. made this record because they bowed to pressure or not, actually; I like parts of the rest of the Buttholes' career (“Whirling Hall of Knives” and “Cherub” are the kind of menacing, fog-machined stomps I can really get behind), but too often their weirdness feels tossed off for the sake of being difficult or making inside jokes or general goofiness I can’t get behind. On Electriclarryland, Haynes still spouts nonsense, scatology and shaggy dog stories, he just does it over a relatively concise, heavy and tuneful set of songs. Real songs. With choruses.

And the thing about Haynes, guitarist Leary and drummer Coffey; during their years creating "Gibbytronix" vocal effects and spotwelding fantastically weird and often evil sounds together, they turned into pretty shit-hot musicians. Haynes in particular has a perfect rock singer voice in a way the first Butthole Surfers EP way back when would never lead you to believe was possible. Hearing him scream, bellow, howl, hiss, moan and rave about solving all of his problems with a gun or wanting to fuck his brother in the ass or how much he hates cough syrup (or hell, being in lust with Christina Applegate) is bracing, hilarious, creepy, fucking awesome. He's probably the only guy who could make me revel in lines like "Well, I met her on the street where she beat me like a poodle / Then she got me accepted to an Ivy League school." On that song, the indelible "The Lord is a Monkey," Haynes stream of consciousnesses some doggerel while occasionally the track erupts into greasy torrents of guitar on cue. The cue is the line “and a dope up her ass.” It's much closer to mid-period, ‘classic’ Buttholes than most partisans would be willing to admit, and like many others here, proves that Electriclarryland isn't a sellout really, just the band assfucking hard rock until it turns into something strange.

Electriclarryland is also impeccably sequenced, to both fuck with old fans and lure in new ones: “Pepper,” the heavy-Beck mutant that unexpectedly went to #1 on the Modern Rock charts on the strength of some drum machines underpinning Leary's guitar scree and Haynes ranting deadpan about drugs, mutilation and people being assholes (plus an all-time non-sequitur chorus) doesn't come until track three, cushioned two deep on either side with blistering, hooky sprints. In one corner, “Birds” sounds like a band finally updating the Stooges (keep in mind this was 1996, half a decade before Is This It would repopularize garage), and “Cough Syrup,” some deranged mix of roots- and indie-rock with a cello coda (I kind of want “they can have my legs/ just leave my mail alone” on my gravestone). And bookending, the kind of gutbucket stomp that only the ‘90s would imbue with echoed guitars (“Thermado”) and something that could probably pass for basic ‘90s alt-thrash if not for the fact that Gibby Haynes is growling in your ear “ever felt a gun for the trigger? / ever gone so fast you could die?" (“Ulcer Breakout”). So far, relatively conventional, and at least internally consistent; even the dancey, zen “Pepper” fits into the milieu.

Which is why the next song, “Jingle of a Dog's Collar,” is so hilarious. Gibby croons—croons!—“what do they know about love, my friend?” over a sunny jangle-pop arrangement, with random haunted organ interjections, sounding like he just popped a couple Valiums. The only time the mask slips a little is when he lets a little strain of urgency into the chorus: “the jingle of a dog's collar would be good right here/ the jingle of a dog's collar would be fine.” It's a bit like the old Surfers song that Orbital sampled on “Satan,” only the ‘50s domesticity never shatters, the other shoe never drops. The song even ends with the sound of a friendly dog. And it goes into the pedal-steeled, Eagles country of “TV Star,” which at least lets Haynes' libido back into the proceedings. But the whole thing is curiously placid.

Those two tracks, much hated even by people who seem to like the heavier parts of Electriclarryland, sound genius once you get used to having the rug pulled out from under you. It's interesting to find out that the Butthole Surfers could have been a catchier, cleverer Cake if they ever wanted, and while you never wish they'd taken that route, the way they dip into it here as a detour to the weird part of the album is masterfully done. When “My Brother's Wife”—a Gibbytronixed slab of zooming atmospherics, martial drumming and bad acid coveting scenarios—gurgles to life, the album drags hard to the left. As a teenager looking for more “Pepper” or at least “Birds,” it confused and unsettled me; now I can just enjoy it the same way I do “Whirling Hall of Knives,” only done on the fancier equipment those label bucks bought the band.

Perversely enough, they leave “Ah Ha” lodged between that slice of hell and “The Lord is a Monkey” (which could be an old track like “John E. Smoke” if not for the drum machine), as “Ah Ha” is both the most conventional thing the band has ever done and perversely, one of the best. Even the lyrics are relatively straightforward and normal. But it's… anthemic. Even as a kid who only knew the band by reputation, this seemed weird. I mean, it's no “Jimi,” but listen to “Ah Ha” in a speeding car on a highway in the middle of summer with the windows down. It's unexpectedly incredible. And while anthemicity is hardly a quality to expect from this band, that only makes it any less glorious.

After the hobo apocalypse of “The Lord is a Monkey” and the gentle comedown of "Let's Talk About Cars,” the band wraps up with “L.A.” and “Space.” The former is another surging, metallic rocker (the band is surprisingly adept with those here), but the latter starts out sounding a bit like Mogwai with Gibby laughing like he's on Dark Side of the Moon before gathering speed and really sounding like Mogwai. It's a fittingly off-kilter end to Electriclarryland. Given the band's oddball credentials, it's not surprising the album is one of the more confounding semi-breakthroughs by one of the most cult of cult bands. I guess it's technically a shame it got that way just by virtue of good songs in the traditional sense, in having their previously idiot-savant-like sense of songcraft meet their shit-disturbing tendencies halfway. But let’s take it on the band’s terms, not against them: if you're looking for nothing more than a catchy, funny, occasionally dirty album—and you can get past their name—the 90s offer few better candidates. Oh, and weird. You need to be looking for weird.

Ian Mathers has written for Stylus Magazine, Village Voice and the world's biggest Philip K. Dick fan site. He is currently finishing his Master's degree in Philosophy at the University of Guelph and wishes he had more time to write about music.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cappadonna - The Pillage

Cappadonna - The Pillage
by Jonah Flicker

The road from top-tier Wu-Tang Clan affiliate to disenchanted, broke-ass gypsy cab driver is apparently a lot shorter than one might think. Just ask Darryl Hill, aka Cappadonna, aka Cappucino, aka “dancehall general, party fanatic colonel.” After knocking it out of the park with guest appearances on Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx and Ghostface Killah’s Ironman—the latter featuring his incredible extended verse on “Iron Maiden”—he received the esteemed “featuring” credit on Wu-Tang’s 1997 double LP, Wu-Tang Forever. One year later, he released his debut solo album, The Pillage, one of the most sorely overlooked albums of the extended Wu-Tang family. Things descended into disarray from there, culminating in his being airbrushed off the cover of Wu-Tang’s Iron Flag; but these days, Cappa’s relationship with the Clan is back to amicable. And The Pillage remains the best work of this illustrious MC’s career.

Cappadonna specializes in making fast raps sound slow by deftly connecting stream-of-consciousness phrases; the results might sound cut-up and choppy out a lesser MC’s mouth, but flow naturally and precisely when Cappa’s jovial baritone enunciates. The best example is The Pillage’s lead single, “Slang Editorial.” Take a look: “My slang is editorial / Explicit material / Briefcase, yo, live in stereo flow / Feel me, Donna realty / Set the black people free / Killer bees got the best stee.” If that read simplistic and disjointed, it sounds just the opposite over Tru Master’s orchestral funk.

The production on Pillage is above and beyond anything you might hear from the RZA these days, especially in his current “hippie” incarnation. He outsourced most of the beats to a crew of producers: the aforementioned Tru Master, Goldfinghaz, 4th Disciple, and Mathematics. But a track like “Blood on Blood War,” one of the few produced by Mr. Diggs himself, makes one pine for his grimier work of the late ‘90s. “Old Special Ed with the plate in my head / Bad bread, spare life, KKK on the mic,” raps Cappa over RZA’s sinister banger.

But Cappa isn’t limited to word association; for all the accolades Ghostface earns for his tales of crime and life on the run, Cappa was already spinning detailed narratives back on his debut. Though “Run” bears the same title as Ghostface’s 2004 track from The Pretty Toney Album, Cappa’s take on the subject matter is actually more unique and visceral.

As usual, fellow Wu-Tang members are peppered throughout The Pillage—Method Man, Raekwon, Ghost, U-God—but Cappa shines best handling his own business. “Milk the Cow” is such a moment (though Meth does rap the chorus). This is Cappadonna’s version of “walking these dogs to represent Wu,” a reminder of the industriousness one needs to make it in rap. The song also sounds like it could have provided inspiration for M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” as a gun cock and blast matches each call-out of “Park Hill projects/ Chicka-pow!”

At sixteen songs, the album has some inevitably weak moments, but those failings are minor. Usually though, shit is just nice: “Everything is Everything,” the stuttering “Splish Splash,” the sentimental “Black Boy.” And what other Wu-Tang member actually had Tekitha rap instead of sing on an album? Never again did Cappadonna manage to match the creativity and intensity he showed here; his two subsequent solo albums were basically a wash, but things are different now than they were in the late ‘90s for both hip-hop and the Wu. Cappadonna shared some strong moments on 8 Diagrams, sure. But it would be nice to hear him shine on his own again, as he has already proven himself more than capable.

Jonah Flicker lives in Los Angeles and has written for Pitchfork Media, LA Weekly, SF Weekly, LA Times, Soma Magazine, and more. He enjoys taco trucks and long walks on the beach.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

a-ha - Scoundrel Days

a-ha - Scoundrel Days
by Ned Raggett

Theoretically any album with a line near its start that goes "Cut my wrist on a bad thought/And head for the door" would have me following the narrator out, then running away. So much for theory.

Scoundrel Days, the second album by the Norwegian trio a-ha, probably ranks up there, somewhere, in my ‘most played albums’ list, assuming some gremlin has been following me around copying down this information. Gremlins are that way, but the larger point stands: This 1987 effort is pretty close to impressed into my skull. Somewhere, somehow, there's a part of me that wishes I was Morten Harket, former Lutheran priest in training, now worldwide pop icon, even if only for a little while, standing above a landscape not dissimilar to the wider-than-widescreen landscape of green fields, distant hills, and blue but cloudy skies on the cover of the album, a fjord behind me or something, filming a video for the soaring title track quoted above and therefore getting the chance every so often to let fly with a huge, pure, perfectly sung, "And SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

You laugh, but you're not me.

It's different in Europe, I gather, for a certain generation—there a-ha was a reliable pop fixture for most of the second half of the 80s, one of those simultaneous boy-band/actual-band incarnations that the 80s was littered with (see also Duran Duran and Guns 'n' Roses—and don't give me that look). In America, ask most people about a-ha's second album and you'll be lucky to get a “What?” Heck, ask about the first album and you'll be lucky. Go, "Look, you know, 'Take on Me,'" then while people go "Oh yeah, that video!" in response, take advantage of their distraction by stealing their wallets and figuring out their PIN numbers. These are troubled times after all, might as well take advantage.

I sorta half-remember "I'll Be Losing You" surfacing on MTV briefly in an attempt to make a-ha's initial burst of fame in the States last, but it didn't quite work. It's at once a pity and somewhat understandable—it's a strange song still; in fact the whole album's a little strange. But this song in particular substitutes the clean charge of the first album's impact for a shuffling, roiling punch, driven in part by secret weapon Michael Sturgis, a session drummer whose three appearances here helped cement this album into the pantheon (well, MY pantheon, which is all that matters). The distorted brass samples are like a cleaned-up Yello, but buried in the mix that much more, while Harket himself sings against his overdubbed self, as well as huge samples of sighs and breaths. He eventually delivers what seems like an ending before Sturgis unleashes a massive drum roll and BAM we're back.

I only first heard this album in full when I went to college in 1988—one of the guys on my dorm floor had it, Scott Rafferty by name (if you're out there somewhere, drop me a line). I heard it from him enough times to want to pick it up, which I did on clearance or something at some point that year. Now there's a huge amount of stuff from that time, which I read, listened to, or watched that you couldn't get me to touch now. Scoundrel Days, though, I'll play that whenever. It's a standby album. It's like, I dunno, the Cure's Faith or Lull's Cold Summer—reliable, something that'll make me happy.

I figured out this album had a certain cachet a few years back thanks to a cover version from another Norwegian band. I guess the Kings of Convenience are only remembered now as being some sort of transitional figures for the fame of Peter, Bjorn and John or something similar, but I remember reading a live review that said they covered "Manhattan Skyline," the centerpiece of Scoundrel Days. It's a-ha’s big ol' rock song, riffs piled on in the first part of the chorus after serenely tense verses, Harket's seemingly calm take on a breakup suddenly turning into rage. But this is well-sculpted (very well-sculpted) rage; he doesn't growl or scream in those verses. He wails in perfect counterpoint, which makes the second part of the chorus, when the feedback drops back, the tempo slows down and he turns everything into an operatic aria in miniature (or is it Roy Orbison? Scott Walker? someone else entirely?) I can’t imagine the Kings of Convenience reached those levels—but you know, they recognized “Wait, this song is great!” at least. Which it is.

And yet there's other material on here that is all the more curious. "October," for instance—demi-lounge jazzy synth-pop that begins like calm Organisation-era OMD, but there's still a core melody at heart, at once a swinging tune and something cold and fragile. Harket's whistle during the break gets lost somewhere in the softly drawing murk, confident and chilly. Then there's much of the second half of the album, which isn't filler at all but also is...well, of its time. Things start to blend into each other a bit more, at least structurally, so I focus in on the variations. For instance, the way that the massed vocals on "The Weight of the Wind" work way more for me than the comparable moment on "Cry Wolf." I want to assume that the title of "We're Looking for the Whales" is a result of the band not having English as a first language, but then again perhaps that's just Anglocentric. I'll take the flutes-as-whalesong and the soft synth-beat shuffle starting it all off over a lot of other hoohah out there.

The album’s ending saves it all, though—"Maybe Maybe" is the definition of a perfect trifle, two-and-a-half minutes of sprightliness that I bet the St. Etienne folks have on secret replay somewhere (I'm pretty sure I remember Bob Stanley once praising the first two a-ha albums, so I wouldn't be surprised). "Soft Rains of April," though, there's your album ender, as melodramatically perfect as "Manhattan Skyline" and a bookend to the title track; slow, majestic, a waltz of sorts, but one where one partner is miles away from the other and is so utterly desperate. Hell, Morrissey could have sung this, writing letters, counting down days, years. Everything wraps up with all the music cutting out right after Harket sings one last "The soft rains of April are over," leaving nothing but one repeated, purred "over" that could have ended a contemporary Prince album. (In fact, this came out a couple of years before "Batdance." Conspiracy!)

I haven't mentioned the third song, "The Swing of Things," because I talked about it here already. So read that. Yeah, lazy, I know, but I already said it all once before! And the song’s that good!

Ned Raggett gets all his work—for the All Music Guide, the OC Weekly, Plan B and wherever else he writes far too earnestly—confused sometimes. Then there's his blog, where all the confusion gets worse.


Friday, May 2, 2008

The Dandy Warhols - Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia

The Dandy Warhols - Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia
A conversation between Theon Weber, Dan Weiss and Ian Mathers


Theon: i like your babydoll tee

Dan: and off to the fucking side
i only wear babydoll tees
the best thing that ever came out of dating linda
she bought me a shirt from a dandy warhols show she went to with tracy
that can only fit like a toddler
and says on it
in trippy 60s font
with a car

Theon: hahahahahahahaha
oh the dandy warhols
they're almost endearing
everyone here hates them so much

Dan: ok group. i like when they do full-on reed impressions

Theon: thirteen tales is in many places great.

Dan: if these many places are nearly all on side B we're talkin

Theon: actually they're pretty evenly distributed sidewise
like, godless is great

Dan: "shakin" "get off" "bohemian like you" "sleep"

Theon: one or the other of mohammed or nietzsche is great, i can never remember

Dan: godless is good
i'm not big on the slow intro songs after godless

Theon: shakin is good. sleep is good. bohemian like you... god, the brown sugar thing bothers me so much but it's good.
big indian is pretty good.
i like horse pills.
that "country" "song" sucks incredibly.

Dan: wow holy shit, i never noticed brown sugar thing until you just said it
bad rockcrit

Theon: good, now try to enjoy the song again

Dan: "horse pills" is great

* * *

Theon: this album has become funnier for me since moving to portland
this "urban bohemia" shit
ok courtney
i live in your fucking city

Dan: taylor-taylor
what an asshole

Theon: i mean in one sense it really is perfect

Dan: i just assumed they were from new york

Theon: because portland is to new york exactly what the dandy warhols are to the velvet underground

ok, can we just do this
i don't feel like editing ned raggett's piece at 2:47 am
can we just make this convo an OST for the dandy warhols

Theon: you're always threatening to do this

Dan: i'll leave all this in, even the part about not wanting to edit ned's piece
it was supposed to be fucking hutlock anyway
but he's somewhere
probably in line for fucking space mountain

Theon: hahahahaha

Dan: don't stop talking about the album now!
you were on a roll
portland : new york :: dandys on with it

Theon: i'm listening to it now. see the thing about "country leaver" is
you wouldn't think a parody having contempt for its subject would be bad but it totally is
like these fucking rooster noises

Dan: haha

Theon: is naming the song "country leaver" and also having it be a country song not enough to get the country thing across

Dan: bad country jokes beat bad rap jokes

Theon: would you classify "solid" as a bad rap joke or is that just a lou reed bite
by the way i have listened to that song while "walking around Old Town"
and i had to stop it because i felt like an asshole
someday i'll go back

Dan: why don't we split the difference and say it's an impression...a bad one...of lou doing that rap song of his
what's it called
"the original wrapper"

Theon: now that i know we're being watched i can't tell if you're making shit up

Dan: no, i swear

Theon: is it like christmas wrapping

Dan: christmas wrapping is classic
this is not classic
in fact, it's pretty humdrum
which is odd
because lou reed rapping shouldn't sound like business as usual

Theon: you really don't have to sendspace me this

Dan: no i'm not
just looking for the lyrics

Theon: so that stuff in dig where the dandies are painted as eagerly appropriating the brian jonestown massacres Real Druggies thing
having a photoshoot in their trashed hotel room, etc
like, i don't want this to bother me
and what's more i'm sympathetic towards it because i have exactly the same poser's hangups about drugs!

Dan: this is so bad...i've owned dig for years and haven't watched it yet
i appreciate you italicizing dig for me now that we're being all meta

Theon: i do that anyway
i used to IM very properly
Hello, Dan. The Dandy Warhols' 1997 (whatever) album Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia etc
but i atrophied
now i just send text messages like that
god you're right, this opening triptych sucks.
i bet he calls it a triptych too

Dan: isn't it just like the worst paced thing?

Theon: emphasis on the TRIP

that's supposed to be "upbeat song"
but i like how abstract it came out

Theon: it's just so cheap making fun of the dandy warhols for thinking their drugs are cooler than they are
can't we take the dandy warhols on their own merits
let's talk about "sleep", that's a good song

Dan: the dandy warhols think everything is cooler than it is

Theon: hmm!

Dan: "sleep" is beautiful
but it's lazy!

Theon: oh my god that's portland

Dan: it loops the same thing for five minutes right? i'm not playing the album right now but i should be

Theon: my ex-girlfriend is with a bike snob and has gone into bike overdrive
portland thinks things are cool that aren't
sonic youth is not going to emerge from a town that recycles

Dan: who's that guy just hanging at your pad
yeah he's lookin pretty bored yeah you broke up that's too bad

Theon: song's so mean.

Dan: they're real snots
i mean
are they on drugs, mocking drugs, mocking themselves on drugs, too smirky to give us a hint
there's a word for this

Theon: "horse pills" is a good song because there's these backup vocals that just yell "PILLS" every measure, and you feel like that should happen in all of these songs
arch implies a certain urbanity that really isn't here.

Dan: hmm

Theon: like, they're at their best when they realize they're this close to the bloodhound gang
"horse pills" has the line "in your itsy bitsy teenie weenie riding up your butt bikini" and in the background someone yells along with riding up your BUTT!

Dan: that sounds like cake!

Theon: but see cake is

Dan: take it to the trumpet

Theon: well this is possibly true.

Dan: now cake is arch.

Theon: cake is arch.

* * *

Dan: you know what's strange about this album?
the production is fucknomenal.
like so undeservingly
where did they get this money?
for the space and depth and oddball instruments

Theon: do you know about THE ODDITORIUM

Dan: the most recent album?
or an actual odditorium?

Theon: yeah but it's named after
their giant studio here

Dan: who gave these people a studio?
oh, guess what this is from :
I was sittin' home on the West End
watchin' cable TV with a female friend
We were watchin' the news, the world's in a mess
the poor and the hungry, a world in distress
Herpes, AIDS, the Middle East at full throttle
better check that sausage, before you put it in the waffle
And while you're at it - check what's in the batter
make sure that candy's in the Original Wrapper

Theon: herpes
oh my god that could be great
see if that were a dandy warhols song, it would be better!
"a female friend"

Dan: he calls a vagina a waffle

Theon: does "the gospel" suck as much as it did last time i didn't stop after "big indian" which was like three years ago when i had a burned copy of this and my friend brian and i were driving silently back from filming some scene for some movie in the middle of nowhere
and after it trickled into silence brian said "is it over yet"
and put on classic rock radio

Dan: i don't even remember it, that's the final track?

Theon: yeah it is
get this
a gospel takeoff

Dan: snap

Theon: you're right about the production. i really like how clean the beat on "sleep" sounds, between the cracks of all this pseudovelvet hiss.

Dan: yeah!
and the harmonies just lazily pile onto it

Theon: actually you know who's into this
hold on

* * *

Theon Weber has invited you to a group chat. Click here to join the conversation:

In the chat room: Ian Mathers, Theon Weber

Theon: ian can sing the praises of the opening triptych
Dan: haha
Theon: and about the production in general, i think.
Dan: hey ian
Ian: what
Theon: okay this should be explained really. ian we're having this involved conversation about thirteen tales from urban bohemia that may or may not be edited into a thing for dan's blog
Ian: oh god
it's 3 am
i have to go to work tomorrow
Theon: awww iiiiiiiiiiiiian
Ian: also i am drunk
any other time I would be on this like brown on rice

* * *


Theon: julia also signed on for like ten seconds then vanished

Dan: hmm

Theon: i was going to invite her in as a Representative Of Portland Cool
no i'm lying, i wasn't actually

Dan: i was gonna say
i really hope ian can join in because i'm setting up the blog entry now
and for the bio
i want to just put that we're the three stylus writers who know how to eat pussy
that that's our thing

Theon: i am not sure i am behind this

* * *

Dan: ian! quick! just give us a sound bite!
Ian: uh uh uh
Theon: i actually like the "guys, it's three am. bye."
Dan: as long as we can complete the triptych of oral pleasers
Ian: i really love the first three songs, but i'm disappointed that they didn't herald the dandy warhols' first shoegazer album
Dan: ian that statement is way too cogent for a drunk fellow
Ian: well
i've been dancing for the last three hours, which clears the head
Dan: neither of us can remember
does "the gospel" suck
Ian: no
it's lovely
Theon: it's rather gauzy, i think, ian might -
yeah, there we go
Ian: i think, anyway
i didn't keep it
it should have ended with "sleep", really
Dan: the whole album should've been "sleep"
and don't think they couldn't
Theon: but with godless interjected occasionally for the sake of the druggy mariachi horns
Ian: well, sleep, godless, mohammad and especially nietzsche
that track is a beast
Theon: that stuff i was saying earlier about not being very comfortable in portland - i feel like i'd have more definite feelings about this album if i did.
i've never met anyone who likes this album.
here, i mean.

* * *

Theon: take out the more irrelevant bits
i mean, don't be seduced by Wacky Banter cause it won't be funny in the morning

Dan: right
i'm thinking i'll save it now
and read over again in the morning and publish

Theon: good call
i'm going to bed.

Dan: yeah same

Theon: let's leave the cunnilingus thing alone though

Dan: hahaha
that's already handled
you'll see
well, this is off the record now so i'll show you:
Theon Weber, Dan Weiss and Ian Mathers are like the Three Musketeers of Critillingus

Theon: hmm

Dan: that way it just sounds like clever wordboxing
but we know the truth

Theon: that way it just sounds really gay

Dan: gay like kelly polar gay?

Theon: i am laughing
christ on a crutch

Dan: yeah i'm laughing too honestly
a good sign
ian won't even remember this
he's gonna be like what the fuck
i'm starting it with my stud pic

Theon: yeah i was going to ask about that

Dan: i'm clipping out korey and "better black days"
so it's just "linda bought me a shirt"
fuck how do i ditch the time
before like every line


Dan: ugh

Theon Weber, Dan Weiss and Ian Mathers are like the Three Musketeers of Critillingus.

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