Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Best Music of 2007

Third annual Pogo wrap-up. As usual, good luck trying to find these.


1. Uncool White Kids, "Scrabble Night at Winston's House (Is Every Night)"
2. D.O.A. Noisenetwork, "Nike Pays My Stone Massage Bills"
3. Kay-T Tigresse feat. Baby Cheetuh, "So Sexy/So Endangered"
4. Mamie Beergarden, "Not Before You Fill This Bathtub With Courvoisier"
5. Four Pretty 21-Year-Old Boys, "Guaranteed NME Cover Story"
6. Panda Snake Wolf Cub, "Me! Your Mom! Pumpkin Pie Filling!"
7. Schopenhauer Power Hour, "Metaphysical Graffiti"
8. The Celibate Hot Topic Sales Clerks, "Waiting for Pete Wentz"
9. Sheist, "1 2 3, Corporate Synergy"
10. Lil' Woozy, "No, Seriously, I've Just Hit My Head and Need to Have a Lie-Down"


1. Underrated Dining Utensil, Spork Spork Spork Spork Spork
About Winnipeg, Trembling Cactus, Are You My Employer?
3. Mamie Beergarden, Back to Whatever Color It Was I Started With, As Long As It Wasn't, Like, Magenta or Something
4. Funksultan Swish and the Scandalous Seven, They Said it Couldn't Be Yodeled (reissue)
5. Strip Mall Inferno, Pastel Torah
6. Stereonoggin, Take This Album. Really, Just Take It.
7. Nina Hagen's Sister's Dirty Laundry, Too Obscurely Essential For You to Have Noticed When It Came Out the First Time, You Twat (reissue)
8. Scooby Don't, Gangstamina
9. D.O.A. Noisenetwork, Weight of Platinum (In My Bank Account)
10. El Emeno Pea, Cue R.S.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The flower, not the high school massacre

The new ThunderAnt short features long-distance songwriting, Carrie Brownstein riding a motorcycle and a last-act cameo by Mr. and Mrs. Corin Tucker. Lance Bangs has superb taste in Electrelane t-shirts, and throwaway joke songs written by Carrie Brownstein are still better than 95% of songs written by people in utter seriousness. And you thought it couldn't get any better than affectionate satires of feminist bookstore culture. Chuh!

Funny though this is, Emily's Sassy Lime actually recorded a lot of their music this way. For real (wait for 0:29).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Celebrity skinned

What's this? A picture of Courtney Love looking like...herself? Which is to say, before the plastic surgery binges, failed haute couture makeovers and spastic Osbournes cameos? It's like she's bought her original face back and returned to her vaguely punk rock but still awards show-ready style template of the mid-90s. Rub some lipstick on her chin and break one of those heels and she's as close to her gloriously trashy, unapologetic, Pretty on the Inside feminist self as we're ever likely to see her again.

There is a disconnect between who I am, and how I live, and how I am perceived. I used to play up to it a bit when I was on drugs because who cares: sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, waaaah! I always seem to come number two to Keith Richards in lists of greatest hell-raisers of all time. But if I was a guy, I wouldn't even be on the list! I didn't know it was such a guy's job. It's like playing football in high heels and lipstick; no wonder it smears.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Chocolat chaud

If there were a lifetime achievement award for sexually ambiguous popular song titles, after going to Morrissey it would go straight (so to speak) to Hot Chocolate, based on the strength of their singles alone. In fact, some of these could be working titles rejected by Mozza for being not quite ambiguous enough.

You Could Have Been A Lady
You'll Always Be A Friend
Disco Queen
Heaven Is In The Back Seat Of My Cadillac
Man To Man
Put Your Love In Me
Are You Getting Enough Of What Makes You Happy
What Kinda Boy You Looking For (Girl)
I Gave You My Heart (Didn't I)
Never Pretend

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Panic! at the Aviary

If you happen to have given up following all the new bands with names involving wolves, snakes and kids and decided to just focus on birds, then I've written the story for you. It's nice to see somebody forging new avian territory; doves, quails, owls and swans are all well spoken for.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Big Muff can beat up your Big Muff

Squinting in the glare of this week's music spotlight: the most powerful aural time warp since that day you heard "Please Don't Go Girl" in the express check-out line at Costco. Or at least Mil Mascaras. It's like returning to the mid-80s via time machine, only without all of that perestroika/Maggie Thatcher/rioting-at-North-London-Polytechnic unpleasantness.

Pants: Let's play a game called, What Year Was This Recorded?

Me: I like this game. It sounds, obviously, like 1984. Or, to give myself a margin for error, 1983-1987. It sounds a lot like the Jesus & Mary Chain to me. BUT! But. I am thinking there is a trick involved here, and that it was in fact recorded recently. I hope that's true. Am I right?

Pants: It's by A Place to Bury Strangers and it came out in 2007. Their MySpace page has the song that Radio K has been playing a lot lately, "To Fix the Gash in Your Head," and other songs. I like them because I like JAMC. The lead guy in that band makes his own guitar pedals.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Camera Lucida

My dear old pen pal and ace photographer Megan Holmes has a photo blog.

She is doing especially lovely work in color now. I like this snapshot of a YACHT/Thermals show in Portland best (click here for a closer view!) because it looks like a high school field trip. The posh girl in the front row has mistaken field trip day for class picture day, but has decided not to be embarrassed about it, because she really, really likes YACHT. Or is holding hands with the girl next to her. The girl with the red hair is trying to figure out how she is going to finish her science project and read all of The Scarlet Letter over the weekend. The boy with the thumb in his pocket, at this precise moment in time, has decided he wants to be in a band. The boy in the Gumbi shirt is trying to create a force field between his palms, and the kid raising his hand in the back just wants to know if it's time for lunch yet.

Megan has also been known to do miraculous things with portraits of Beth Ditto. Keep an eye out.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sacred and Profane

Do you believe in his sweet sensation?
Do you believe in a second chance?

Do you believe in rapture, babe?

This juxtaposition flashed into my mind during Thomas Sokolowski's Andy Warhol: Camouflage Man lecture the other day. Sokolowski is director of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and when he put up the still from the Warhol film it was like seeing Bernini's St. Theresa peeking out from behind Bookwalter's eyes.

For religious man, his life was sanctified because it corresponded to paradigms established by the gods in the time of origins. Eliade suggests that in the very distant past, absolutely every aspect of life, even the most basic bodily function, had a religious significance. He sees this reflected in the case of an Australian people called the Karadjeri, whose mythology provided them with a paradigm on the position to take up for urinating.

Clearly, this immersion of life in sacred values is total contrast with the experience of non-religious man, whose life has become desacralised.

As well as acquiring religious value from divine paradigms, particular aspects of the life of religious man could also take on a sacramental value. Thus in Indian tantrism, sexual union became a religious ritual.

-"Understanding the Sacred"