David Hansen's article, "The Sound and the Fury" (6/12/09), was such a well written, inspirational, and refreshingly nostalgic personal read for me that a letter response is necessary.
Hansen's words took me back to the young age of 14 when I was first introduced to the fun, upbeat world of pop-punk. Jamming to bands like Propagandhi, NOFX, Tilt, and the Queers, and wanting, wishing, hoping, to someday rock my ass off onstage like Propagandhi's Chris, emphasizing progressive politics and pumping up the crowd to the core.
From pop-punk I ventured into the world of noise-rock, jumping around, screaming like a madwoman to bands like Melt Banana, Romantic Gorilla, Spazz, the V.S.S. Bands on 31G record label: Arab on Radar, Cattle Decapitation, music that made me feel sane. This new music brought me to a place that no drug I'd consumed could ever take me, a natural high that helped mold me as a musician. The noises that these bands produced made most people close to me cringe in disgust while I, on the other hand, was jumping with joy to these new discoveries.
This is a letter of thank you to David Hansen. Good noise-rock is resting in my bloodstream, and you've encouraged a revisit to the path of beneficial destruction. Fast drums, squelching guitar, insanely high-pitched screams: Oh, how I miss you. I must stop tinkering quietly in my basement with gadgets while my six roommates lay at rest. Now's the time to break free from the confines of societal routines! Contact me, people, if you'd like to jam.
On the other hand...
Typical hipster music publication: writes about music as if they actually know what they are talking about.
You make it sound like the music of Duke Ellington was some sort of lame establishment art that drove musicians to rebel and create free jazz. It was the restrictions of swing/big band in general that led to the development of be-bop. The fact is that even musicians today go back and study his complex arrangements and transcribe the solos of his exceptional sidemen. "Lounge jazz"? I have never heard of this term in general, let alone in regards to Ellington. Please admit that you made up this term.
John Coltrane and Duke Ellington recorded an album together in the '60s when Coltrane was at the height of his creative powers. Ellington also recorded the very progressive Money Jungle with Charles Mingus and Max Roach during this period. In the '70s he recorded a duet album with bass master Ray Brown called This One's for Blanton as a tribute to Ellington's bassist Jimmy Blanton. While not quite free jazz, the improvisations are very free and at times dissonant. I think in your desire to paint Coltrane and Sun Ra as visionaries and some kind of precursor to noise rock, you grasped for the first "old-school" name you think of to represent "fuddy-duddy old people's music."
Also, you described free jazz as having "wild time signatures". There are no time signatures in free jazz.
I actually gave up on the rest of the article based on your total lack of knowledge and Pitchfork.com style of hipster music journalism.
Shhhhh, the grown-ups are talking.
Comment by AngryPlayer
Michael Jackson eulogy
David, I want to thank you for your beautiful yet poignant words capturing the life of such a great talent ("Michael Jackson: A Eulogy," 6/19/09). You say so poetically what I personally feel very deeply. Michael Jackson in his best and worst moments, a precious gift to be celebrated and mourned. Fortunately for the world, genius doesn't come in vanilla.
Comment by Patty from Bloomington
Katherine Kersten fan club
It's so freaking hilarious to see a "journalist" casting stones at a journalist who is actually doing the job ("Holy War," 6/29/09).
See you waiting tables at Applebee's, Erin...
Comment by dre
Kill the messenger
I think you should look at what the accusations against TiZA are, rather than automatically attack the accuser.
Comment by Allen P
Crazy for Bachmann
Whenever Michele Bachmann descends from her belfry to issue another panic bulletin, I hold my sides in anticipation, but damned if she isn't right about the census (Blotter, 6/29/09). Last census I checked the al-Qaida box for political affiliation. (I was thinking Al Quie.) The authoritarian abuse I've endured these past years—granted, mostly courtesy of Bachmann's tribe—makes the RNC look like a Maypole dance. And let's not overlook the historical context. If not for the Roman institution of census, Bachmann would have her Sundays free. She and I could hole up in Buenos Aires for affairs of state. ("Oh, Michele, Michele...I love the way your tan lines recall the pillbox hat and cotton gloves you wantonly stripped off before my hungry gaze. I love the way your nipples salute the führer. Heil W. Heil W! HEIL W!")