ISSUE #4         JANUARY, 2001

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REAL MUSIC CONVERSATIONS   transcribed by Matt Silcock

       Thisíll trip ya out, guess how old Paul McCartney was on Let It Be, on the last Beatles album.
Actually Ė Abbey Road was the last album.
       It wasnít released last, but it was recorded last. Let It Be was recorded, with the film and everything, but the tapes sat there for awhile because they didnít really consider it an album. Eventually, Phil Spector came in and remixed the tapes and added string sections and crazy stuff, and it was released, but by the time that happened they had already recorded Abbey Road. So in reality they ended on a pretty friendly note.
Yeah, but . . . I bet if thereíd been a film crew at the Abbey Road sessions itíd be just as bad. Or you know, just as boring, with them all sitting around and not smiling much. I mean, if you get enough footage, you can edit any story out of it that you want, just look at the MTV Real World. Abbey Road is perceived as friendlier just because they actually had written songs and they went in and knocked Ďem out. I mean, what makes Let It Be so ragged is that they went in without writing any songs! It was all like "One After 909" and "Dig It." 
Well, there was "Get Back." "The Long And Winding Road." Those were tunes.
Yeah, well "Get Back" is just a I-IV-V boogie. I mean, they play it great but it still sounds pretty thrown together.
Well thatís Paul McCartneyís pop genius, he can take a basic blues shuffle and make a pop hit out of it, just by adding these "sweet Loretta" hooks and holding back just right on his falsetto. (sings, demonstrating) Get back.....get back....You know thatís John playing all those blues licks on that?
Oh yeah, I didnít know that Ďtil I saw the movie.
Me neither.
I love those mellow licks . . .
Yeah . . .
But you know, "The Long and Winding Road" is just a Paul McCartney song. He just recorded it solo on the piano while you know, John was laying in bed with Yoko at like 2 in the afternoon and Ringo was playing pool and George was meditating or smoking pot or something. Phil Spector added all those strings, itís not a Beatles song, itís a McCartney solo song produced by Phil Spector. Which reminds me of why I started this conversation! How old do you think Paul McCartney was then, when he recorded "The Long and Winding Road" for Let It Be?
He was actually 29. He was all done with The Beatles by the age of 29! I mean thatís the life. Iím 29. Iím pretty much retired from music too, but you see instead of making millions I lostÖhundreds! (both laugh) But yeah, "Let It Be" was basically a McCartney solo song. I mean, Ringo played drums and Paul brought in George for the guitar solo. But Spector added tons of strings, and even the drums mightíve been done after Paul played and sung the basic track.
Yeah, one take with a few different mics.
A bunch of mics! They mic the shit outíve that piano! They got like . . . fifteen mics along there.
And of course a vocal mic.
Yeah. Probably just one.
     I don't know, you might be surprised. Might have, like, four vocal mics!


     Yeah, you know, itís of those Sup Pop releases that were like, promos? And were black and white and in those like . . . thin . . . jewel cases?
     Oh, yeah, those were their storeplay copies that they put out from like . . . í93 to í95. They actually said "In-Store Play Copy" or something like that, right on the cover. Like a standardized cover, whether it was Sebadoh, or . . . who else was there?
     Yeah, like '93, the Sub Pop "store play" editions!
     We had a Big Chief one . . .
Mack Avenue Skull Game!
Exactly! That was pretty good.
Yeah, I was just thinking about that album the other day. (sings) "If I had a nickel
. . ."
Yep! (nodding, smiling, then singing along) "For every dime . . ." And that...track two or somethin'...that big brassy rock song that was like "One born every minute"... (he sings, feigning a guitar part)
(nodding and sincere but not quite certain what song is being referred to) . . . Yeah! . . . Yeah . . .


     Some of these new die-cut fold-out-cardboard "non-jewel-box" thingies are really tricky to work with. Iím kind of a jewel-box gal myself. Itís just so simple. Itís universal. And yeah, thatís Nazi or whatever, but I mean, thereís things I hate about jewel boxes, like when the little hinge-thingies (she starts using her hands to explain)
. . . that connect the . . . lid? To the case? The swivel thingies. When they break off
. . . and so every time you open it, you pull the . . . lid . . . all the way off. I hate that! And also, when the things like . . .where you stick the CD in (more attempts to describe with her hands) . . .
The teeth!
Yeah, the teeth! When they break off??!!!
Yeah! I hate that too.


      What've you been listening to?
      Um...millions of things!
      Right on!
      Actually, the new Flaming Lips album. I just got that. About two years after it came out.
      Oh yeah...isn't it beautiful?
      It really is. It just gets more and more beautiful.
      The Flaming Lips have always been this band that can as cheesy as they wanna be, sell out as much as they wanna...
      Cuz they always seem to know exactly who they are.
      Exactly. When I saw 'em on Beverly Hills 90210, that was this zen parable that hit me like a lightning bolt.
      No, for real! 'Cause, you know, when I was young and pissed off I thought that selling out meant, you know, any time a band participated in the whole corporate entertainment industry at all, they were automatically sellin' out. But when I saw the Flaming Lips on 90210, and they were so good, I realized (she affects mystical monotone faux-hypnotized speaking voice) 'There is one true way for every band. Selling out does not exist. Only true ways."
      (continuing voice) "There are as many true ways as there are bands. But not every band can discover their true way." Y'know??
      Yeah, yeah....I feel ya...






So when's Jim Carrey gonna host Saturday Night Live? Can't you just imagine, the big Jim Carrey/Will Farrell comedy duel? Maybe you'd rather not imagine that.

Y'know, every record Borbetomagus has put out could be described as "harsh," but man, Experience The Magic really takes the cake. It's downright vicious. I'm listening to it right now, and it hurts. It makes me clench my teeth. I honestly don't think I'm ever gonna listen to it again, and you know that's saying something, 'cause I usually like music that makes me clench my teeth.

Here's a rather illuminating quote for all you musicians out there payin' your dues: "The show seemed to be fairly well received judging by the number of CDs we sold. I mean, people will clap no matter how bad your show is, but I figure they aren't gonna buy discs if you suck." -- Jeff Wrench of Brutum Fulmen.

You've heard of "Top 10 of 1998" lists or whatever (how boring?), or "staff picks," (who cares?), but here's something that actually matters a damn in this shill-dense global culture we're all breathing right this 'fucking' second:

Verve Storm in Heaven
Jangly Led Zep dervish soul. In a recent Mean Magazine interview, lead singer Richard Ashcroft talks about how he and 'his mates' used to build bonfires on the beach and take acid to while listening to funk by Miles Davis, heaven-rock by the Byrds, and probably hell-rock by Led Zeppelin too. This album, recorded and mixed in a langurous reverb-drenched psychedelic tunnel, seems to be a synthesis of all those things: fire, the ocean, funk, chime, jangle, Jimmy Page, heaven, hell, and intoxication. Honestly, few rock moments in the last 30 years can match the way "Already There" drop-kicks from falsetto-dream chorus to tribal-Bonham spinning-dervish verse. Other than Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, this is the only Britpop album in my entire collection. (That's right, no Radiohead.)

Crude Inner City Guitar Perspectives
A messy scrawl of overamped guitar, clarinet, synthesizer, and trash-rock drumming. Sixteen short and corrosive tracks played and recorded by one man, Matthew Middleton, in Christchurch and Dunedin, the two urban centers of the South Island of New Zealand. Shocking noise and instant rock anthems struggle for ground zero. "This town is full of losers, you're one, you're one, you're one" are the entire lyrics to the lurching 59-second-long affront "This Town," which sure sounds great when blasted from a stereo in a white-bread jock-town like Lincoln, Nebraska. On "Sumerian Art Therapy," the gtr/drums/clarinet groove sounds like Pink Flag on 16RPM and a retarded version of "Honky Tonk Women" at the same time. Then the vocals come in and it somehow all turns into glam-rock. This CD is filled with surprises like that.
Matthew Middleton of Dunedin, New Zealand

Wire Pink Flag
My favorite punk rock album.

to h*ck with label addresses, if you wanna connect with any of this shit just go to and do a search on the band name and title too if its different (using "__" + "__" format) . that's honestly your best chance of buying any of this stuff, it's just not economically feasible to stock it in most record stores..

Now I'm listening to Borbetomagus's Seven Reasons For Tears CD. It's quite a bit less shrieking than Experience The Magic, despite (or who knows, maybe because of) the addition of bassist Adam Nodelman to the usual trio lineup. Just had a neat moment as some vehicle with a loud siren went speeding by outside. All you Borbetomagus fans out there know how epiphanic it is to hear a real-life siren outside while you're listening to their music. Another good album to hear a real-life siren during: Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Our Asses Back.

I'm just gonna throw some random quotes I've been collecting here. Like Confucious said: "Where deadline approaches, so does filler." If it's me you actually wanna read, go back to my previous Inklings and Musings, from back when I actually wrote. But no, these quotes aren't filler, they're beautiful, or else I wouldn't collect 'em. They're more or less about music.

"The more one studies the harmony of music, and then studies human nature, how people agree and how they disagree, how there is attraction and repulsion, the more one will see that it is all music." -- Hazrat Inayat Khan, quoted on the Nels Cline website

"Reynols' desire to invoke the tumultousness of rock is not anger, fear, or a sadistic need to control, rather it is the ecstacy of pounding: the ability of rock to channel the most primal connections between the body and sound."
-- Aquarius Records website

"What was great about the fifties is that for one brief moment -- maybe, say, six weeks -- nobody understood art. That's why it all happened." -- Morton Feldman, from...somewhere.

"Everyone played as loud as possible, and everyone at once. . .But that's what always happens when people say 'Let's be free'--it produces chaos and destruction, because they have never learned to use freedom as a means of restricting oneself, so that others can be free." -- Karlheinz Stockhausen, from...somewhere, about a 1971 free jazz concert he attended.

"There's nothing 'free' about any of this; it's the construction of cantilevers and inclined pylons. I'm a great fan of Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish structural engineer. If you look at the plans for many of his constructions, they look like animals, or plants." - Cecil Taylor, in interview with Perfect Sound Forever

                                      Brad Sonder is a writer who lives in Lincoln, and presumably does nothing but sit at his computer and listen to records -- no one knows anyone who has seen him. Don't miss his dense 'new records' column, So Much Music, So Much Time as published in Nougat. Brad also writes a column about the Lincoln music scene for


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