Comments from ellisdean

Saw him on the "Smile" tour. It was clean, well-rehearsed, and sounded very good. Brian Wilson, though, was not looking good and probably didn't even know where he was...after the show he wandered down the wrong staircase off the stage into the audience and his handlers had to corral him back stage. It was sad, but if you want to see a living legend perform with a tight group of musicians who care about the music, see a show on this tour.
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January 26, 2016 on Brian Wilson Announces 50th Anniversary Pet Sounds World Tour
"I just can't quite put my finger on why this bothers me so much." Because it's a blatant cash-in not four years after their absurdly-hyped final show(s) in NYC? After the ridiculous ticket nonsense, after the live stream money...they have waited *just* long enough before coming out of "retirement" to play the major festival circuit. Yes, musicians absolutely need to make a living. Some even deserve to make a ridiculously lavish living. But this "final show-retirement-reuniting" charade feels like it was all planned by some fund manager in how to maximize profit out of a fan base.
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January 5, 2016 on LCD Soundsystem Will Tour This Year
"Soup" rules. One of the most perfect albums from the 90's.
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October 21, 2015 on Jim James, Seth Avett, Brian Fallon, & More Cover Blind Melon
People traveled from as far as San Jose to LA and were bummed out, eh? Any time you travel long distances to see a band you take a risk. Especially when that band is Deerhunter...and double-mega-super-secret-especially when it's the beginning of a tour. Surely this isn't a surprise to anyone. When they are "on", Deerhunter is awesome. But even as a casual fan I know better than to hope too hard for a perfect performance. Last time I saw them they also forgot to soundcheck until...well...the start time. But it all worked out in a blurry, sloppy, organic, noisy way that led to a very fine set. Who cares? It's fun. It's exploration. Sometimes rock n roll can be a little messy. Deal.
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October 19, 2015 on Deerhunter Fans Complain About Messy Performance In LA
Gee...a bunch of affluent white people living behind the Orange Curtain afraid of rap music and proudly ignorant about it! What's the next headline, fire is hot & water is wet?
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October 13, 2015 on Contest-Winning High School Declines Macklemore Visit & $10K Grant
Four people stabbed, yet Skrillex and Diplo emerged unharmed. There is no god.
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September 20, 2015 on Four People Were Stabbed In Apparent Gang Fight At David Guetta Show
Thank GOD that we won't have to worry about rock music being offensive. We want everything totally safe and unobjectionable and we want the appeal to be universal and completely accessible. No hurt feelings, mmmmkay? Heaven forbid someone somewhere should be uncomfortable with a band that plays to a whopping 800 people a night.
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September 19, 2015 on Viet Cong Are Changing Their Name
Bitching about the experience is in pretty poor taste since he crowdfunded the whole thing, but I guess poor taste is fine with the VMAs. I think it's cute that people still pay attention to them...they're about as relevant as the Teen Choice Awards. Really it's an opportunity for celebrities to show up and cause "buzz", so none of this crap is surprising. "Desert space prison" sounds about right for Kanye since he showed up with Baron Harkonnen. I know that the shoes that those two clowns wore probably cost more than I make in a year, but damn, they looked ridiculous. However, Forbes is right on the money about the money. Those drink prices...the outfits...the whole damned spectacle. It's no wonder there's a class war going on.
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September 2, 2015 on Disgruntled VMA-Nominated Director Had A Shitty Time On His Crowdfunded Night Out
(Yes, I'm going to be THAT guy) Looking at his photo, covered head to toe in Everlasting Jobstopper tattoos, I'm SHOCKED to find out that his judgement may be lacking regarding the stars n' bars. Oh, and the spelling in his tantrum isn't a surprise, either. He's an all-around paragon of clear-headed reasoning. I've got plenty of family in the South. None of them gave a damn about the Confederate battle flag being taken down because they're not living in the 19th century.
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August 25, 2015 on Yelawolf Defends The Confederate Flag
In high school I was much more of a Metallica fan. I liked Maiden, but my metal heart was forged in the fires of "Puppets" and "Justice". The difference now is that when Maiden comes around I go out of my way to see them. When Metallica comes around I couldn't care less. Maiden has held up far better. Seeing them in concert is just too much fun.
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August 24, 2015 on Lifelong Dirtbag: The Eternal Importance Of Iron Maiden
I have a hard time seeing the first three Funkadelic albums and the associated live album from '71 lumped in with the rest of the Parliament-Funkadelic canon. Yeah, it's George Clinton & friends (and drugs)...but they're totally different animals. "Funkadelic", "Free Your Mind...", and "Maggot Brain" were primal acid rock from the get-go. Nobody was doing what they were doing at that time; not Hendrix, not Sly, not Miles...nobody was even in the same orbit. And it wasn't just "psychedelic funk": this was melt-your-psyche-with-enormous-Aztec-heads-emerging-from-the-ceiling-holy-shit-what-did-I-just-take ACID rock. This was one of the few bands you can name who had a primary member (Tal Ross) drop due to drugs breaking their brains. The music was an extension of their madness. It was otherworldly. Seeing these guys hit the stage at the time must have been akin to a all-black musical production of "Cuckoo's Nest". The subsequent albums ("Cosmic Slop" forward) got less "rock" oriented and more "disco/funk" oriented; by the time "Let's Take It To The Stage" was released there was no trace of the former Funkadelic: yeah, they'll bust out "Maggot Brain" live if you see 'em, but that seems to be the only acknowledgement they give to their beginnings. But they're solidly Parliament from 1973 on, and once Eddie Hazel landed in jail, Funkadelic was essentially dead. The tight, slick production was here to stay. Sparkles on the clothes and the "spaceship" were all permanently added to the mythology. I applaud the effort of actually writing about & ranking the 30 albums here, but as far as I'm concerned those first three are in a world of their own...deservedly so.
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August 13, 2015 on P-Funk Albums From Worst To Best
Ribot is right on. Look, Steve Albini sort of got his name as an indie mouthpiece with his "The Problem With Music" back in the early 90's, and it was spot-on great. He was right. In the 1990s. The problem is that his recent views on copyright and monetizing music are from *one* perspective. The "punk rock" perspective, where playing endless shows (and if Steve had his way, they'd probably be house shows or basement gigs) is the One True Way of earning money from music. But what if...what if the artist doesn't want to perform live? Or just release their medium in another format? Or creates art that can't be reproduced live? That's where Ribot is coming from. Tom Waits recorded with Ribot and hates to tour...shouldn't he still get money for his music? Some of the stuff Ribot's recorded with Zorn simply can't be done in a live environment, and that's fine...Zorn still deserves money for his composition, and it shouldn't be cheapened by a streaming service. It should be fairly compensated. The "Problem With Music" nowadays is...(at the risk of sounding like a Mission District Anarchist)...the techies who are creating streaming services and cramming those companies with middle-men who have NO PASSION for music whatsoever. It's the SAME THING as the record industry in the 70's and 80's, but the distribution flowchart is flipped and the org chart looks a bit different. The fact remains, though, that the musician STILL GETS PAID SHIT for their music being streamed over the "airwaves". They're still forced to play live if they want to eat...even more so now because they can't count on CD sales since people would rather steal than pay for music. You have these massive tech organizations that desperately need to fund their payrolls and giant SF offices and whatnot on the backs of musicians. Yes, streaming has definitely lowered the barrier to entry for thousands of musicians, and thanks to the internet we're hearing people play their music and create art that we would NEVER have heard of or seen before. And streaming isn't going anywhere...and it shouldn't, really. It's a great delivery model. But the model needs to be made more economically fair. The fact that there are administrative assistants at these streaming companies ALL making more money than 99% of the people making the product that funds their companies...it's beyond unfair. And people need to get used to the idea of paying for something. Yes, even music. Napster let the genie out of the bottle in that respect, but there's still hope to make a pay model even more painless and easy enough to grab plenty of people just too lazy to open up a torrent client.
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June 10, 2015 on Read Marc Ribot’s Angry Open Letter To Steve Albini
Its the money. Yes, "innocent" Hoosiers will be hurt by this, but when you have multiple bands cancelling, municipalities (like San Francisco) refusing to send people to Indiana on official business (Indianapolis is a big conference center)...it all adds up. Yeah, some folks will lose tips, but venues hurting is really the whole point: hurt as much of the economic infrastructure as possible in order to compel the business vote to cry uncle. Bottom line, hitting the pocketbook is the most effective way to change public policy.
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March 31, 2015 on Wilco Cancel Indianapolis Show In Protest Of Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Yeah, no shit. Sure, he's not "art rock" but he's not trying to be...in fact, he's not trying to be anything, really. Just a guy doing his thing, making honest music and touring around with his friends. No need to get all uppity...there are more deserving targets. Jeez, the guy is from Stockton. Hasn't he suffered enough? Give Chris a break.
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February 26, 2015 on Kim Gordon Expands Upon Lana Del Rey Diss: “She’s A Female Chris Isaak”
He deserves credit for the significant impact of the Velvet Underground. There are a solid 2 1/2 albums there of monumental music, music for which Lou, John, Maureen, and Sterling should be rightly credited. They even made Nico sound decent, which alone should garner a Nobel prize or something. Y'know that line? "They didn't sell a lot of albums, but everyone who bought one started a blah blah blah blah." It's cliche, but it's probably true. Really, really good stuff there. Let us also not forget Lou's post VU output, which is utterly mediocre once you get past the "risque" songs about trannies and junkies, and any merit on those could be credited to the producers. He had a bad voice, average guitar chops, and ho-hum songwriting at best. That stuff coming up to his ankles isn't the material from the Beatles or The Doors; it's the bullshit coming from his amp. Lou Reed coasted on his VU cred for over 30 years. "Dirty Boulevard"? Gimme a fucking break. Of course, this is the same guy who called Frank Zappa "the most untalented musician I've ever heard." Jesus. You can have an opinion about whether or not you like his music, but untalented? C'mon, Lou, nobody can be THAT dense. He was a fountain of weapons-grade stupid comments.
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February 17, 2015 on Watch Lou Reed Call The Beatles “Garbage” And The Doors “Stupid” In Newly Animated Interview
Steely Dan seems incongruous for a festival pick, but who cares? They're great. Saw them in 1999(?) and they killed. And I think a lot of the younger fans will be surprised when the Dan hits the stage and all these AARP types materialize and start ripping hits from their "Jitterbug vaporizers". This isn't your Paul McCartney Coachella crowd...
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January 7, 2015 on Coachella Vs. Governors Ball: The 2015 Lineup War
"You're Under Arrest" ranking higher than "Big Fun"? "Bitches Brew" not in the top 10? "Live Evil" missing the list entirely? Look, we all know these lists are here to get folks riled up and bring eyeballs to the page, but damn...there are just some bad calls here.
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November 6, 2014 on Miles Davis Albums From Worst To Best
News flash: pop flavor of the week found to not be a fountain of creativity. I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you...
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September 15, 2014 on In Incredible Testimony, Robin Thicke Says He Lied About Co-Writing “Blurred Lines” And Was High For All Of 2013
Hmmm. Drunk people appear in Boston. Next up on the Stereogum update: fire is hot, and water is wet.
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July 28, 2014 on Dozens Of Keith Urban Fans Get Too Fucked Up In Boston
Saying she broke up the Beatles is a shortcut to thinking. It's been said a million times before that they were just plain sick of each other. Hell, watch the "Let It Be" documentary and tell me that they didn't loathe each other...that atmosphere was toxic. Is it cool that Yoko is able to perform at the age of 81? Yes. Does her voice make me want to jab railroad spikes into kittens? Yes. I "get" what she's been doing, but I can't get into it. For me, "Don't Worry Kyoko" sounds like it was written after Yoko heard "Trout Mask Replica" and said "Oh shit, I'm not weird enough..."
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July 8, 2014 on Yoko Ono & Yo La Tengo Glastonbury Video Goes Viral For All The Wrong Reasons