Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I really like Rodney Graham's Rock Is Hard. I bought it thinking it would just be cool to have a CD by the guy, but it's actually quite good. Think Lou Reed with fewer resources and a smaller audience and you're in the neighbourhood. There are those cringe-worthy yet disarming moments of direct statement in his lyrics. Nice, subtle rhythm guitar as well.

My favourite track is "Time Waster." Hey, everyone needs a theme song.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marky Mark, you are quite right. While no Malkmus, RG is a surprisingly good songwriter. I wd also recommend his Love Bug CD.

Did I tell you about wfmu.org? "Freeform" radio out of New Jersey? Check it out, if you haven't already. It's mostly pretty killer.

xoJ

9:31 AM  
Blogger BookThug said...

Hey Mark -- I had the chance to see RG's show at the VAG when I was there in April. Totally amazing. Imagine having all the videos to those songs projected on large screens to watch as the lazy power chords drone on. Brilliant. My fav was the film about sitting around in Stanly Park, dropping acid and then riding around on a bike until arriving at a large statue of the queen which he started at for the rest of the song. The piece was called something like "I will always love you". Can't quite remember. I watched it a few times because it was so perfect. Another world altogether. There was also a great country and western song 'on display.' But the entire show was fantastic, and set up quite well, starting with his camera obscura work (technos) and then moving through to the application of this 'basic' technology to finally arrive at the combination of film and sound: music video. One or two pieces along the way pissed me off, but I think that was the point.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hey Jay: this sounds like the A Little Thought show that was on at the AGO last year (let this nugget of information contribute to the efforts of the make-Jay-stay-in-Toronto foundation). My favourite was the projector and snowy typewriter piece. The acid one is called Photokinetoscope, and the soundtrack, which stands up nicely on its own, is on Rock Is Hard. I felt less convinced by the show as the technology became more transparent (I think the turntable-and-projector rig is the key to Photokinetoscope), but maybe I just didn’t get what was going on. If I remember correctly, I was really hung over.

Jason: Malkmus is so, like, 1992, which is fine, but he doesn’t seem capable of admitting it. I think he has to go totally lo fi and crafty like Westerberg or else freak out completely. In any case, his commercial moment has passed.

I will get Love Bug. “Mostly pretty killer,” eh. Can you say that?

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to go all DFB on yr ass, Mark, but this Malkmus criticism is simply hogwash. Malkmus, I dare say, gave R. Graham permission to write the way he does. (Along w/ a lot of other people, yes.) Also, Graham has had a lot of help/inspiration from the Zumpano/New Pornographers camp. Who, in turn, owe some debt to Pavement. Malkmus lives!

P.S. The New P's new CD--a burned copy of which I just got sent to me--totally rocks.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

"Simply hogwash," eh. Is that sort of like "utter nonsense, Jeeves"?

I think the New Pornographers owe their biggest debt to Wings. Remember Wings? Wings Over America?

Yes, Malkmus lives, but Malkmus is dead.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Jason! Don't listen to Mark's crap. He likes Stephen Malkmus and The New Pornographers.

L.xo

11:07 PM  
Blogger dfb said...

don’t mine me, but to set the record straight – i don’t know much about pavement or malkmus, - but i just got music from grisey and ferneyhough –dis da hard rock

love – just like ice cube all over your ass

dfb

9:55 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I don't know about the New Pornographers, but I do like Destroyer. A.C. Newman is a little too middle-management for me, you know? I mean, look at him.

For the hard rock (or at least heavy), check out the new Sleater-Kinney.

9:12 PM  

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