David Lowery will never feel successful. He has been, so he should feel better about his life, but he will always compare his success to the Pixies or R.E.M. and feel that he was somehow left behind. Sure, he might be doing better than Paul Westerberg now, but who isn't? Bob Mould, if he was only guest DJ'ing at a guy disco, could get more people to a show than Paul Westerberg. However, David still feels discouraged. He won't tell you this. He will tell you he's content. But David is a little sad, and deep down, he always will be. Be nice to David if you see him. His music is better than most his Contemporaries, and it would be nice of you to tell him that. We in Heaven have an annual Lowery Day up here, and it is tomorrow, January 31. Celebrate with us by blaring some Camper Van loudly... or perhaps some "Teen Angst (What The World Needs Now)" by Cracker. Here's some live stuff that makes us excited for tomorrow. I love David Lowery, and I hope you do, too.
Camper Van Beethoven - Pictures of Matchstick Men(live).mp3
Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling(live).mp3
Camper Van Beethoven - All Her Favorite Fruit(live).mp3
There’s a show on NBC called “Lost”. Heard of it? The angels and Me watch every Wednesday. Being God, I know where they are going with this. I know everything. I know how Season 2 ends. I know how Season 3 ends. You ever watch for a repeated time “The Usual Suspects” with a friend who has yet to see it? That’s the feeling I get when I watch this show with the angels. They have no clue where this is going and they beg me every week to give them a hint. I know your thoughts, and I know lots of you humans are wondering what is up with this show, too. So, for your enjoyment, I have decided to give you some of My thoughts on the show and some spoilers as to what’s to come.
You ain’t gonna like how this show ends… unless you like how the X-Files ended. Or unless you like how Alias is wrapping up. Or unless you liked that Happy Days episode with the Fonz, the motorcycle, and the fish. Very similar, people! It looks good now. It looks like they know where they’re going, and they do… kinda, but it’s not going to be pretty. My advise, jump ship before it’s too late, or you are going to feel cheated when Dogget shows up looking for alien bees.
End of Spoilers.
…and that’s why Jack kills Locke. Just kidding. Anyway, I had a point. If you don’t mind the mystery being more exciting than the big reveal, by all means, hold on tight. The show ends with a whisper, but the bang is in the confusion. This is what they got right. It’s fun not knowing. Why do you think I don’t show up in your bedroom while you’re talking to Me? If you know I was real and videotaping your every move, you’d probably be acting a little different. But you just think that “hopefully” I’m real, and I absolutely love that. Keep hoping. Keep wondering. And once you start putting what you think might be real into action, that’s when life gets crazy (you’ll notice that’s also when the show gets crazy).
So, my thoughts on the show. I give props to any prime time show that is able to quote My Scripture so comfortably. With the exception of Flanders, there ain’t too many characters that are friends of Mine on the big stations. Granted, the story you’ve seen thus far seems to hint that the island is a place where all religions are thrown together in order to produce the one “true” set of beliefs… and apparently My book I wrote on this subject doesn’t alone cut it. However, it’s really fun, and they get a lot of stuff right. Plus, I love any sort of pop culture that leads to pop psychology that struggles with “Faith vs. Science”, “Am I good? vs. Am I bad?”, “Who was I? vs. Who am I?, or “God vs. No God”. Enjoy the mystery, you’re only lost once.
At first, I got Ron Freeman confused with this guy.
Ron peeing on a barn.
I created in the heart of every human a special place where the music of Clem Snide will fit comfortably. If you don’t know Clem Snide, listen to these mp3’s and let the healing begin. Sometimes I think Clem hates Me, Sometimes I think Clem loves me. It can be hard to tell.
I’ll Be Your Mirror (live).mp3 – This songs lyrics reminds me of how low your self esteem is, and how I wish you saw Me when you looked deep into yourself. This song has been known to make people weep.
The Ballad of Bitter Honey.mp3 – New album track. Clem can cuss, yep, Clem can cuss. I am so excited for this new album!
Enrique Iglesias’ Mole (live).mp3 – Easily in my top 10 favorite songs about Enrique Iglesias’ Mole. It’s hard to beat that one by Radiohead, but this one is definitely up there (for those not in the know, check out the moles point of view with lyrics to “How to Disappear Completely”).
PS. Yeah, everybody thinks the “G” stands for “God”, but its actually for “Good”, which comes from that one thing that girl says about me from the Narnia book.
Read Psalm 139. You are all unique. You are all special. You are all not going to enjoy good music.
It was hard mixing you all up to be original. It’s not easy. Want proof? Most males in the USA got for Christmas last year one of eight different Old Navy sweater options. I enjoy originality and difference of each of you. All the insects took Me a day, but I spend 9 months on each of you. What does this mean? It means not every human is going to get Neutral Milk Hotel. Some humans are going to listen to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and think they are listening to radio static (and they might actually be right for some of it). Don’t knock those kiddies who enjoy Rob Thomas, I made them that way. You got a problem with Jason Mraz, you got a problem with Me.
Everyone’s a critic, and everyone’s critiques are a little off. That’s how I made you. For example, people exist who love both Enya and Sleater-Kinney. People exist who like both Kenny Loggins and the Boredoms. Clearly, a person with both of these musical tastes is a little off “true and perfect good taste in music. In the end, Pitchfork is great… but when it comes to judging, there’s only one opinion you’re going to be interested in (read My book, trust Me). It’s ok to like the new Weezer album. It’s ok to still play American Idiot really loud in your car. It’s not your fault you don’t get The Fiery Furnaces, I made you that way.
Anyway, inspired by the “Lone Star Statements,” an article from The Morning News that collected Amazon.com reader reviews of famous books that they gave only one star, below are some quote from one star listener reviews from Amazon on some of the music the Son of God considers to be just about perfect. This list is also proof that I like to spice your world up. After all, how boring would the world be if everybody thought OK Computer was genius? Or what if I made you all equally love Bo Bice (who I think is trying to steal my look, by the way)? It took me a long time to make up all your differences, enjoy them.
Amazon Reader One Star Reviews
Taken From Albums Jesus Christ Considers Nearly Blameless
Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
“How am I supposed to critique a CD when I can't even pronounce the guy's name? THUMBS DOWN!”
“Stevens is a weak singer-songwriter who sounds here like a pastiche of James Taylor and Brian Wilson at their very worst. Lyrical conceits fall flat, and the overtones of born-again-ness are teeth-grating. The tunes are lackadaisical, half-composed at best. Nothing here has any energy, and I can't detect any real emotion or commitment here… There is absolutely nothing here. Buying this is like buying a blank CD.”
“…I realized that if I wanted to succeed in my own personal career, I must hire a junior high band, downgrade my studio, and write songs that make no sense and I will make it as a professional musician. And I will get raving reviews…. The guitars, pianos, banjos, woodwinds were often flat and very unrhythmic. The production was horrible. ...The lyrics that were hyped up as deep were shallow and seemingly unrehearsed and the so-called "historisity" are bizarre stories that have no application to the listeners. I found no profound lyrics… I apologize to the die hard fans. Not because I may have offended you, but you have been brainwashed into thinking this is good. I couldn't take 1 album. I wonder what I would do with 50 of them... I hear they make good rifle targets.”
Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Areoplane Over The Sea
“…It's a mystery to me why people like this band so much. I mean... I understand that you have to like some things to be considered hip, but Neutral Milk Hotel cover up talentless bass playing by layering so much fuzz on the bass that there is a low-end buzz through the whole album that makes my teeth hurt.”
“ …the lyrics are nonsensical in the painful tradition of They Might Be Giants. In discussing this I have heard it argued that Jeff Mangum is working with very personal metaphors, but I don't see the value of indeciferable metaphors. Just as I'm not interested in James K. Polk (They Might Be Giants) I'm also not interested in the king of carrot flowers; in fact, the lyrics are distracting.”
“ Remember in that movie 'Deliverance' when the hillbilly says "squeal like a pig"?? I think the vocals of Neutral Milk Hotel (whatever that is supposed to mean/aside from random word association) SQUEAL. Seriously.”
R.E.M. – Murmur
“Imagine a lo-fi Kansas album without "Dust in the Wind", and that's what you have here…This early era of REM is embarrassingly bland and dull-- it reminds me of a subpar Kansas or Chicago release. This was a chore to get through. Only someone on pot could enjoy something so boring. And based on the other reviews here that compare Stipe to Christ, I'm sure many of you are using other kinds of "medicinal enhancement" as well.
“ I love REM but this just wasn't worth the money. Don't get me wrong I love their music and I suppose I wanted to "collect them all" but this changed my mind about that idea. I'm actually upset that saved up for this. Forget about this import and just save your money for the next album.”
Flaming Lips – Soft Bulletin
“A friend of mine recommended this by telling me that, at first listen, he thought this was the most trite and idiotic thing he'd ever heard. Then after repeated listenings, he turned around completely and thought it was a work of genius. Well, it never got past trite and idiotic for me. Add to that the facts that the synth sounds are hackneyed and outdated, the singer can't actually sing, and the lyrics sound like something a fourth grade sci fi geek would find only moderately clever, and you are left with a disc that has very little going for it.”
“ …they sound either like a really cheesy lounge band now ( in a really bad way) or just washed out weirdos from oklahoma. this album is not revolutionary at all! my goodness, the thing is so clear sounding its like it was produced by the same people as the backstreet boys! where has all the noise gone? where are all the out there lyrics, song titles? the first time i heard this album, by the time it was on the third song i was so mad and disappointed that i threw it at the wall! why did you let me down, flaming lips! why are all the great noisy bands no longer making noise? …please guys, make another good album so i wont be embarassed to wear your shirts anymore!...you wasted my money, thats for sure!...”
“This is the musical equivalent of going back to wearing diapers.”
The Pixies – Doolittle
“This also doesn't even deserve negative 0 stars! How ANYBODY can even say this is mediocre is way beyond me. For real ‘Indie Rock’, listen to The Killers or Bloc Party.”
“I agree with the last reviewer who said a Phil Collins for the Nineties not even as musically sophisticated as Phil Collins.This album puts me too sleep!”
The Shins – Chutes too Narrow
“dont pretend you like this wussy crap because i know you secretly don't.”
“I like a great pop hook as much as the next guy, but it just doesn't make sense to me that this album made multiple 'best of 2003' lists. There really AREN'T any great, or even good, pop hooks on this album...nothing innovative, interesting, catchy or important here. Move along.”
“Move over Radiohead, I think we may have a new contender for most overrated band ever. There are a few minor moments of musical worth on this album, but ultimately, most of this music isn't anything your 12 year old brother who just picked up his first acoustic guitar a month ago and has just begun strumming some standard chords couldn't write with little trouble. Do people just like the idea of listening to something that sounds completely unprofessional and talentless?”
Iron and Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days
“This recording should be sent to every dentist in the country. Musak for people who like to think they have taste, forced breathy singing ("Hey I'm as talented as Nick Drake") forced steel string guitar squeeks ("Wow, what a lifelike recording") pathetic Hallmark quality lyrics ("Hey I took a creative writing course, really"), and just to make you feel comfy, the songs are redundant.”
“If you like someone straining a whisper into a microphone as two acoustic guitars strum monotonous tones, you might like this. However, it gives me a headache. There isn't anything original here, and frankly it is very dull. And for those who love it, well, don't deny the truth. It is exactly that. A dude whispering into a microphone with two acoustic guitars playing dreary songs. Like I said, if you like that, more power to you. Me, I prefer innovation and a little more of something I can move to or at least use my imagination without wishing to put a bullet in my temple. I'll try listening a couple more times....but right now I have to see a psychiatrist.”
“Time must be passing me by and music evolving beyond my ability to appreciate, because I cannot fathom how anyone could like this ‘music’. Someone told me that this disk had a fuller sound than the other Iron & Wine CD's. If that's a full sound then I'm 10 feet tall. I couldn't get past song three before I took the CD out of the player. This CD is lifeless. This one's going back.”
Yo La Tengo – I can hear the Heart Beating as One
“My friend wanted me to check out this group, so I listened to her entire album and wait...I didn't cause I fell asleep. This is a group that has very boring music, and downtempo isn't the word for it.They need to step it up or get stepped on.”
“This band is so boring. What kind of bland,insipid people listen to this.”
“Calling this CD ‘monochromatic’ might be too interesting a word to use for something this boring and numbing…. Why do people continue to assert that YLT is a ‘great band’? Beats me. There's no proof of it here.”
So, I am known for hunting down music anywhere. And yes, that means I even venture over to odd unsigned band sites via My Space. Granted, these days even Neil Diamond has a My Space, but for every Neil Diamond, there are literally 1,000's of mostly bad unsigned bands trying to get the word out that they exist (and yes, I have counted, theres literally 1,000's). Most of these are fascinatingly not good, and this is part of the fun. Where's Pitchfork's list of 2005 awkward singles from unsigned My Space bands? Being God, even though this Pitchfork list doesn't exist, I can dream it up as if it did, just for my own enjoyment. And if this list did exist, the number one slot would have to go to the band Fly Upright Kite. Their song Say You Love Me has uncomfortable backing vocals, it's a little too long, and has an odd guitar solo... but it is also pop brilliance! There is pure talent buried in this beautiful track, but it is buried down inside of poor production. Here's a perfect analagy for you, it's like finding a gummibear covered in ants... there's something tastey there, you just have to brush off the gross. Looking at their tour itenerary, it would be fair to guess they are from Massachusetts (not that I'm guessing). And I believe they are playing at a bowling alley, which is a band starting out right of passage. This band has a way to go, but they totally could get there.
Hey look, I’m going to be on TV! I'm famous! Some show called “The Book Of Daniel”, which from the commercial makes me think its not based on that Daniel but some other Daniel (not that a tv show with Aidan Quinn fighting lions would be too bad). Either way, the show is on Friday nights, which isn’t too good for my schedule because that is when so many of you need me to keep you out of trouble (you’re welcome), but Heaven, being perfect, has a Tivo, so I will make sure to watch it sometime over the weekend. Time makes it sound racy, which is cool because I like stories about me that are a little more realistic than “7th Heaven”... not that I didn’t like “7th Heaven”, but this show looks like it could be more of the Son of God’s pace. Remember, I’m the guy who told stories by the campfire all the time about people getting beat up or people running away from home and spending all their cash on prostitutes. How many parables did I tell with talking animals? None! Not that there were talking animals on “7th Heaven”, but honestly, they wouldn’t have felt too out of place.
I am a perfect blogger. It might “seem” to you that I am not too good at this blogging thing, but that is just want I “want” you to think, like how I had all the cool kids say they like Kelly Clarkson. You want proof that I exist, look no further than the current hip status of American Idol #1. That was a dare. It wasn’t hard for me. I’m perfect. That being said, it might “seem” that I’m not too good at this blogging thing. Well, I have good news for you, it’s about to “seem” like I got a lot better (thanks to “unnecessary” much help from I am fuel, You are friends , Music for Kids who Can't Read Good, and Gorilla vs. Bear). Anyway, let's get on with the show.
Like Iron and Wine and Bright Eyes, this guy knows how to write a really really long folk song. If you are a long folk music track fan like me, then please download and enjoy, from Josh Ritter's as yet untitled album to be released this spring...
Thin Blue Flame mp3
I simply don’t like tests. Never did, never will. Think of this not so much a “test” as “helping Jesus through a question he already knows how to answer, he just wants to see if anyone else knows the answer (even though he knows if you knows… not the point)”. Screw it, here’s your test: