Category: Actual Mileage
Originally published by Kade Magazine on September 8, 1994
Posting this here because on last week’s podcast we had a discussion about seeing The Smashing Pumpkins during their post-Siamese Dream phase, as well as Kirk’s assertion that the Pumpkins were better than Nirvana. This article touches on all of that, and is also representative of my take on indie/alternative just as it was beginning to peak out, commercially.
. . . So I was standing on line for Lollapalooza ’94 bumping backpacks with thousands of other cool undergound rockers and there’s this really annoying loud guy right in front of me. He’s pontificating about Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols. Only all of his ideas are completely wrong, which pissed me off. After a few minutes, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I tapped him on the shoulder and went “excuse me, but I’ve been listening to your little lecture on The Pistols and you’ve completely missed the point about McLaren, punk rock and everything.”
He was offended: “Look ‘ere, Mate,” he went with a fake English Accent, “I’ve been writing about Malc for years, and I think I ‘ave a smashing insight on punk.” “Oh yeah,” I went, “well, I just happen to have Malcolm right here, and let’s just find out what he has to say,” and with that I produced Malcolm McLaren, who went to the guy: “Your theories are absolute shite; how you ever got to write about anything is beyond me.” Needless to say, the guy was flabbergasted . . .
Bob Mould, of course, has had a lifetime pass since the second Sugar album, and to be honest, he’s probably had it since January 1987, when Hüsker Dü released Warehouse: Songs and Stories.
Warehouse was the fifth album they’d released since September 1984, so it was the culmination of 2 1/2 years where they’d gone from being just another name buried in the morass of hardcore bands listed in tattered, second-hand fanzines to being one of my favorite bands in the universe.
That said, in all of the years, I’d only ever seen Bob Mould perform once, at the Warfield in San Francisco on Sugar’s File Under: Easy Listening tour. Unlike R.E.M and The Replacements, the Hüskers never made it Fresno, and there was never quite the right social buzz around them to have the same road trips that spontaneously seem to organize themselves around The Smiths or U2.
Besides, Hüsker Dü was going to last forever. I’d have plenty of time to see them!!
“… and there stands R.E.M.” is the last phrase on Pavement’s heartfelt (not “heartfelt”) tribute “The Unseen Power of the Picket Fence.”
At the time, R.E.M. had “only” been together for a decade — how long did any of your bands last? — but it felt like they were in it for the long haul, and would be making great records for decades to come.
Of all the bands ever, they seemed like they’d figured it out: how to a be band and not lose your mind, how to stay a band and not lose your heart, and most importantly, how to have success and not lose your soul.
So there they stood. Through the loss of their drummer. Through the loss of their popularity. Through the loss of their ability to make great records. Through the regaining of their ability to make great records.
And there stands R.E.M.
There is no podcast this week.
Not because we didn’t record a podcast, but because Garageband sucks for recording podcasts over iChat. It just works? Absolutely. Working well, on the other hand, not so much.
We had this problem last week, but we able to get a shitty-sounding recording via Kirk using Audio Hijack, but the whole point of Garageband was that it supposedly would let us create a recording where everybody is on a different track, which is awesome. I thought I found a solution to the problem, and tested it this last weekend. But it didn’t work, and crashed twice: once about 15 minutes in, and again, about 55 minutes in.
In the end, after nearly an hour of recording, we got about 30 seconds of audio. This is the second time this has happened. So I’m done with Garageband and will explore different options. As Paul Rudd said in Forgetting Sarah Marshall: “When life gives you lemons, say fuck the lemons and bail.”
However, because I outline the podcast prior to recording it, and last night’s went pretty close to the outline, here’s a summary what you would have heard had we only been able to, you know, record it.
OK, gonna try something here: a quick weekly list of five awesome things going on in the media, technology, pop culture, politics, sports, whatever happens to strike my fancy.
No real rules on this, except that whatever I put here has to be current, and it has to be something that I’m really liking right this second.
FIVE AWESOME THINGS – AUGUST 2, 2010