commented on Wrap Your Dreams in Trouble: Lou Reed, 1942-2013
great list dave. what goes on is probably my #1 for him too and i love that you have foggy notion in your top 10 (probably makes mine too, easily the best tune on VU, which is great is its own right). heres to taking as much joy as you can while revisiting his work in the coming days/years. and, of course, best to laurie & his family.
commented on You Never Should (See) My Bloody Valentine and Lumerians at Showbox Sodo
i've been sitting on commenting for this post for a week and just now feel compelled to do so, after listening to MBV on headphones for the first time since last weeks show.
a). man, MBV are a terrific headphones band.
b). i largely agree w/ the review above, save for the fact that i was sadly not at the 2009 wamu theater show.
c). aesthetic & size wise, i really like the showbox sodo. the wooden beams and iron brackets are lovely, as is the brick exterior/warehouse/industrial feel of the venue. however, the problems with the venue aren't purely sound based. the stage is way too low for the size of the room, making lines of site very difficult for even a 6'0" person not standing closer to the stage than the soundboard. if you're in the bar to the north or drinking area behind the soundboard and the show's crowded, forget about seeing whoever you intended to see. those lovely beams are particularly low hung and when orientied vertically as posts as in the bar section, you have the same issues with the venue that The Croc v1.0 suffered from.
d) re: the sound: i've seen shows there that have sounded great (hold steady/drive-by truckers, guided by voices), decent (big boi), and now really awful (MBV). it pains me to hear that this may not be an issue with just the showbox sodo and with the 2013 tour in general, but either way, i was skeptical about the downgrade from the wamu theater from the 2013 show the moment it was announced. despite its rep as a room without character, it's a big, high ceilinged room with lots of space for sound to breathe and reverberate, which is exactly what MBV needs and didn't get in the claustrophobic confines of showbox sodo. im not a sound engineer, but i imagine this is akin to the difference between wearing open-air grado headphones and noise canceling earbuds. MBV deserves the former.
e). my frustrations throughout the show with the poor vocals / lack of showmanship / shitty sound / lines of sight / relatively high price of the ticket / etc. legitimately had me questioning if MBV were in fact a great band. a week's later and playing them again on headphones and in a car stereo confirms that they in fact are, but it was easy to doubt last week. what's most fascinating about them to me is that despite the undeniable simplicity of their base ingredients (saccharine melody plus crushing guitar electronics), still no one in music sounds quite like them, and i suspect ever will.
f). i left the show and am still feeling a week later that this is a band that's been complacent with themselves and with forever unattainable "perfection" for far too long. while folks may disagree with this and subscribe to more of a "going out on top" theory, MBV would be a far better band and have a stronger legacy if they in fact followed up loveless quickly, continued to tour, incorporated b-sides & new songs into their setlists more regularly, etc. i can't help but see somewhat of a lack of creative drive in mr shields, or at least a lack of willingness to take real risks or develop a vision for his band. to me, this is what art is always about and what really makes it great. luckily for him, deb, belinda & colm, the records they have to fall back on are sublime and more than make up for their many other shortfalls.
commented on Why All the Skyler Hate?
i've always been kinda so-so on skyler myself. she has her admirable moments and non-admirable moments, but is generally well acted and plays a necessary/important role on the show. i don't totally buy the "bb has poor roles for women" argument either, both skyler and marie get pretty damn compelling by season 3. i'll agree they both drove me the most nuts (which, in the grand scheme of things, wasn't nuts at all, ie i didn't ever think about it outside of while watching the show), in BBs first two seasons.
gunn's article points out similar reactions to carmela soprano & betty draper, which adds interesteing depth and accuracy to the article. the betty point is particularly close to me as i've long maintained (and still do) that in seasons 1+2 (or at least up until she divorces don) betty was the show's most interesting, well written and well acted character; an opinion shared by few if any. sure she wasn't "unique" or "complex" like say a walter white is, but for a documentary-style character study of the plight of the early 60s suburban housewife, january jones and the mad men writers did a terrific job, and the crap she got for it always bugged me. perhaps my inclination towards betty isn't surprising in that i find shows like "the wire" the most compelling of any/all on tv (the documentarian/voyeuristic approach rather than the narrative driven morality play approach of BB), but anyhow, yes: more skyler/better/carmela love.
commented on Spoiler Alert! Probable My Bloody Valentine Setlist
sweet! thanks for sharing dave. i've been listening to a playlist from the 2009 show (that i stupidly did not attend), but am partially glad about as i prefer mbv to isn't anything. could definitely use a lose my breath or when you wake youre still in a dream though ;). also more tunes from mbv.
can. not. freaking. wait.
commented on We Did Not Endorse Ed Murray
dom's right about this, that's a fucking lame move. murray's getting more unappealing by the minute. lets hope more people read SECB endorsements than campaign fliers (the 2009 election certainly proved they do...).