Mark E. Smith And The Meaning Of Wildlife


Back when I was a rabid fan of The Fall, I never imagined a day when I would read an article about Mark E. Smith’s murderous hatred of squirrels. Are they spoilt Victorian squirrels? And does he hit ’em over the head with a 2×4? So many fan questions remain unanswered by the AFP report.

The most important tidbit we learn is that, according to Mr. Smith, “Squirrels mean nothing to me.” With this in mind, I need to pull out all 498 of my Fall albums and listen through them yet again. This time, searching for clues about the development of his cryptic philosophy regarding the meaning of squirrels.

As for the RSPCA, good luck with your efforts to silence Smith. No one’s been able to do that for the past 30 years. Also be aware that “R.S.P.C.A.” is exactly the sort of title he gives to his obscure and often vitriolic songs.

Now where did I put my pellet gun? It’s springtime here in Virginia and these songbirds are about to drive me CRAZY!


Unsucky Band Plays Roanoke

A rare occurrence, folks. Tonight in Roanoke, Virginia, a fantastic band from Idaho is playing with some local bands downtown at Martin’s. They are Finn Riggins, and you should give them a listen on MySpace. And here’s a homemade video I found:

Will I actually make it to the show? Place your bets.

Music Spy

If you want to pretend you’re with the NSA and feel that nervous rush of excitement that comes with peering into the private world of an eMusic member, you can go here to see everything I’ve ever downloaded. You can also spy on my ratings and reviews, if that’s your "thing".

Someday I’ll put together an official review of eMusic, but for now I’ll let you know that if’n you love music and if’n you ain’t skeerd of MP3’s and if’n you listen beyond Top 40 then you should sign up today. Forget about iTunes or Napster or Wal-Mart or any of the other online download services that use digital rights management (DRM) schemes to limit how their music files can be used. eMusic offers high-quality MP3’s from a vast range of independent artists, and these files can be transferred between computers or MP3 players or burned onto CD’s zillions of times.

You’ll have to pay a monthly fee for a set number of downloads, but the final cost per MP3 ends up being not the usual .99 or .88, but 25 cents or less! Yes, just like with the hyper-inflated price of a barrel of oil (it only costs $4 per barrel to get the stuff out of the ground!), most online music services are ripping us off. Comforting. 

My FEB-MAR 06 Playlist

  • Belle & Sebastian
  • The Lovemakers
  • Iron & Wine/Calexico
  • Dog Faced Hermans
  • Devotchka
  • Peter Bjorn & John
  • The Hong Kong
  • Flotation Toy Warning
  • Enya
  • Hannah Marcus
  • Departure Lounge
  • Stereolab
  • Destroyer
  • Neko Case
  • Aesop Rock
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Adam Green
  • Fiona Apple
  • Tift Merritt
  • Casey Chambers
  • RJD2
  • Neil Young
  • Zuco 103
  • Ken’s weekly "Friday Six Pack" MP3 mixes

Meme For The Laughter, Meme For The Tears

Meme: n (mëm): A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another." In "blog-land," a survey of sorts to be written about on your blog and then passed along to others by "tagging" them and having them do the same.

The challenge: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.


I was tagged by Trista to participate in my very first meme ever! Hurray? This is my first exposure to the concept of meme, and I’m a little worried that my inoculations aren’t up to date. Anyway, here goes nothing:

1. The Hong Kong, "Mazerati" – Downloaded this song a while back from, and it lurked on my MP3 player for many weeks before being picked by random play. Totally catchy, fun song that sounds like a long lost early Blondie track. I recently downloaded their entire album Rock The Faces from eMusic and it’s pretty good. Produced by Rick Ocasek of The Cars fame!

2. M.I.A., "10 Dollar" – Electro/Dance/Rap from Sri Lanka that embraces the grey areas of "freedom fighter" politics (in this case, the Tamil Tigers). Not a position I can fully support, but I’m glad somebody is willing to explore it on the pop culture stage. This is one of their less political songs that hooks you with its "Hey hey hey hey oh oh, hey hey hey hey!" refrain. Yeah, it’s THAT deep!

3. The Futureheads, "Hounds Of Love" – A cracking cover of this classic Kate Bush song! Bands thinking about doing a cover song should learn from this example. Redoing a fairly well known song or making the cover sound exactly like the original is bor-ing. The Futureheads have chosen a song that deserved much more attention than it ever received, and they have remade it as their own song while remaining true to the spirit of the original.

4. Carmen Rizzo, "Easy Way Out" – A song that hits painfully close to home: "I don’t want to look back and see that person / I don’t want to feel like I wasted my life / What is it that I’m so afraid of? / Why do I always take the easy way out?"

5. The Rosebuds, "Boxcar" – I have no idea what this song is actually about, but it’s simply amazing. It rocks and lounges and is happy and sad all at the same time. Ivan Howard has a voice as compelling as Michael Stipe’s–one that directly conveys raw emotion, though the words are often vague and impressionistic. Lately it seems that I can’t listen to this song enough!

6. Jens Lekman, "Maple Leaves" – A grand, sweeping, melodramatic orchestral pop tune with heartfelt but hilarious lyrics (Morrissey meets The Magnetic Fields?). The twist to this song is that he’s so enamored with his partner that he misinterprets her rejection as something romantic. "She said it was all make-believe / But I thought she said maple leaves / And when she talked about the fall / I thought she talked about the season / I never understood at all." Hipster Tip: Pop music from Sweden is where it’s at right now.

7. Hannah Marcus, "Lot 309" – Another MP3 lurker that just grabbed my attention (it was originally included in my pal Ken’s Friday Six Pack of MP3’s). A song so atmospheric and mysterious that I was compelled to listen several times. I read a review that compared her songs to David Lynch films, and I believe that’s accurate. I’ll definitely be downloading her albums from eMusic.

I don’t believe I know 7 people who have blogs, but let’s see if Daniel, MelissaScott, Donielle, Meridith & Shannan are game. TAG! YOU’RE "IT", FOLKS!

My DEC 05-JAN 06 Playlist

  • Deerhoof
  • Blonde Redhead
  • Andrew W.K.
  • Dirty On Purpose
  • DJ Shadow
  • Hem
  • M. Ward
  • Jens Lekman
  • Cass McCombs
  • Lemon Jelly
  • Kammerflimmer Kollektief
  • RJD2
  • M.I.A.
  • The Grates
  • Felix Laband
  • The Peter Malick Group Feat. Norah Jones
  • The Fiery Furnaces
  • Teenage Fanclub
  • Supersystem
  • Crystal Skulls
  • John Vanderslice
  • The Hidden Cameras
  • Damien Dempsey
  • Devotchka
  • RX
  • The Rosebuds
  • Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
  • Ladytron
  • The Clientele
  • Aesop Rock
  • InRadio samplers

My OCT-NOV 05 Playlist

  • Architecture In Helsinki
  • The Rosebuds
  • Ladytron
  • The Mountain Goats
  • Danger Doom
  • M.I.A.
  • Neil Young
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Devotchka
  • The Decemberists
  • The Clientele
  • Blusom
  • Annie
  • Carmen Rizzo
  • Madonna
  • The Veils
  • Eleanor McEvoy
  • Tilly & The Wall
  • The New Pornographers
  • Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
  • Trembling Blue Stars
  • Ken’s "Friday Six Packs"