Dearest Skynard Fan,

Comment from “SKYNYRD FAN” to Jerry Grit’s Year in Albums #9: August (Part 2) [Censored on behalf of my more delicate readers]

HEY YOU [expletive] MORON.

WHAT KIND OF [racial epithet] MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?

WHY DID YOU BUY THE CD, SCUMBAG, IF ALL YOU’RE GONNA DO IS BASH IT?

YOU STUPID [different expletive] YOU.

AND LEARN TO SPELL LYNYRD SKYNYRD, [more different expletive].

YOU WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH A BULLET IN YOUR [expletive, same as the first] HEAD

Dearest Skynard Fan,

I was very excited to receive your comment. I treasure deeply that you sought out my posting, read it, and have let your voice be heard, however loud and monotone your voice seems to be.

Nonetheless, I can sense from you comment’s tone that you are not fully onboard with my assessment of how listening to Lynard Skynard is like hearing “beer bellies…Rows and rows of swaying, dirty beer bellies.”

But criticize you did and respond I should.

SKYNYRD FAN: HEY YOU [expletive] MORON.

Me: “Hey” to you, my friend. Your good-natured but obscene badinage has gotten my attention. You may proceed. 

SKYNYRD FAN: WHAT KIND OF [racial epithet] MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?

Me: Thank you for asking. Although, I’m not familiar with music genre of which you speak, much less of any of its sub-genres. Your interests are obviously as varied as they are deep. I appreciate your interest in my listening preferences, however.

SKYNYRD FAN: WHY DID YOU BUY THE CD, SCUMBAG, IF ALL YOU’RE GONNA DO IS BASH IT?

Me: Again, your curiosity is so refreshing. But don’t be mistaken. I didn’t buy it to bash it. I bought it to enjoy it. And you must admit, that’s nearly impossible. Also, bashing is not ALL I’m going to do to it. The disc functions nicely as a coaster/cat toy/bad mirror. And I needed to stash my copy of “Truth or Dare” somewhere no one would ever look. One would be would hard-pressed to find a place more bereft and derelict than the inside of a Lynard Skynard CD case.  

SKYNYRD FAN: YOU STUPID [different expletive] YOU.

Me: Your criticism is bracing, but cleansing. Like the arctic winds.

SKYNYRD FAN: AND LEARN TO SPELL LYNYRD SKYNYRD, [more different expletive]

Me: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

SKYNYRD FAN: YOU WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH A BULLET IN YOUR [expletive, same as the first] HEAD

Me: Thank you for the suggestion. However, I am going to have to take you at your word. For I notice a flaw in your advice. It doesn’t seem like I would be living with such an accoutrement so placed. Thus, I wouldn’t “be” at all, much less “be better.”

Oh, wait. I get it.

Sir, you have unmanned me.

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Yay, Nay, Egh: My Hideout Block Party Concert Review

My ladyfriend and I traveled to Chicago for my 5th consecutive attendance to the Hideout Block Party in Chicago. The Hideout is the coolest bar/musical community behind a Home Depot. I didn’t get to see everything and had to leave early. I am only a man.

SATURDAY

  • Giant Sand (Yay)He’s much jazzier and Billy Bob Thortonlike than expected. Unfortunately, the set was a little ramshackle and there were none of the great female vocalists he recorded with on the recent and great Provisions. (C’mon, Neko Case.) Still, it was my first time seeing a guy I’ve been listening to for a decade. Novelty prevails.
  • Little Cow (Egh) I guess they did what they could for shirtless Hungarians.
  • Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip (Yay) Pretty decent British rapping, I shrug. But here’s what puts it over the top as a live experience. Pip devotes intersong banter to reaming their Pitchfork reviewer for giving their last album a 0.2 (which is like a really low pitched “Nay,” given my primitive rating schema). He reams by reading that same reviewer’s celebratory assessments of Coldplay and Sean Combs.  Get that guy, Scroobius.
  • Plastic People of the Universe (Egh) I half-read an article about this group being legendary and everyone should be really excited.  I half-listened and wasn’t convinced of the former, so didn’t become the later.
  • Monotonix (Yay) I’m not too sure what they were playing or that I would ever listen to it again. But they won me and many over for keeping it sort-of together while the singer crowd surfed in a garbage can, the drummer crowd surfed on his drums, and the guitarist sat on an elephant. Again, novelty prevails.
  • Neil Hamburger’s Drunken Spelling Bee (n/a) I was definitely interested in doing this. But you had to sign a release and apparently there were to be shots after every spelling bee round. And it was inside, during Black Mountain’s set. If anyone can share, please do. 
  • Black Mountain (Yay)Long freaking setup time. But in retrospect, I think it had something to do with Monotomixabbreviated set (abbreviated by some kind of destruction, I think). Still, it was nice to see Vancouver psyche-rockin the sunshine, however cloaked in a manufactured fog.
  • Vieux Farka Toure (Egh) A little too jammy. Not on my wavelength. They should play by an egg-timer. One of the guys sat on a gourd.
  • Neko Case (Yay) I thought Neko was on her way out as far as my positive assessment goes. I thought OD’d on her and the rest would be diminishing returns. But the lady’s still got it. Looked like she could use a nap, though. Maybe a few z’s were more important than showing up for Giant Sand.   

SUNDAY

  • The Jon Rauhouse Sestet (Yay) Pedal steel driven instrumentals. Listened from afar, as I drank my beer and read through old New Yorkers.
  • Honey Boy Edwards & Devil in a Woodpile (Obligatory Yay)It’s blues in the Sunday sun, so it’s kind of boring. Both Honey Boy Edwards and Devil in a Woodpile are best heard on weekday nights. But Honey Boy Edwards is billed as the “oldest living bluesman,” a description that renders any critique mean. And Devil in a Woodpile are essential to the Hideout, so it seems wrong to say anything remotely critical. 
  • The Uglysuit (Egh) Oklahoma group with each band member managing to have their own personal and equally dire hair issue. The new album is alright, but they need to grow up. And get some buzz cuts.
  • Tim Fite (Egh) Kind of bummed that Tim rhymes/sings to backing tracks. But he ends Gallagher-like by throwing watermelons into the crowd.
  • Mucca Pazza (Yay) The marching band shtick is still pretty fun.
  • Dark Meat (Nay) Wow. These guys were terrible. No idea how they ended up with such a prime time slot. C’mon, Hideout staff. You can do better.
  • Robbie Fulks (Yay) Robbie finds a way to finally get the masses excited about him, by doing a Michael Jackson-only set with the great Nora O’Conner. Their are costume changes, lamely funny to impenetrably bizarre pantomimes, the obvious jokes, but it’s pretty fun. Novelty prevails and conquers.
  • Rhymefest (An Averaged “Egh”)Rhymefest starts out a strong “Yay,” but unravels to a “Nay”. Perhaps overshadowed (or tripped up?) by the Robbie Fulks-Michael Jackson extravaganza that just preceeded him (and ended with a stage full of hipster zombies doing the “Thriller” thing), he seems at first charged by the build-up, starting with a few tracks off his free Michael Jackson tribute album.  After a few flubbed raps, he wrongheadedly goes off-script with his spoken word peice about being close to life, death, hope, etc. After a minor flub of this, he gets heckled. He then goes in a defensive crouch behind the DJ and tries again with the solid “Brand New” from his great album, Blue Collar. But he’s obviously rattled. He flubs this and just walks off, completing only like 20 minutes of an hour set. The DJ tries to cover for him by leading the crowd into a chant. DJ understands that there’s little he can do sans MC and flees after El Che.  You don’t often get to see a set implode like that. And it’s surprising to see it happening to Rhymefest, who fronts a hardworking, professional entertainer ethic. Perhaps he was angling for his own Kanye West-like Bonnaroo meltdown
  • The New Pornographers, Ratatat, Hercules and Love Affair DJ set (n/a) Have to work. Can’t flee the stage of my life. Damn, dude.

Jerry Grit’s Year in Albums #9: August (Part 2)

Hole mole, I’ve been hiatused. There’s the garden variety laziness that can be blamed. And I have other priorities, I guess. But blog-wise, I’m also confronted by the twin challenges of satisfyingly bringing my biking adventure to a close and saying something…anything…about that Lynard Skynard greatest hits album I was for sure I had to own.  And so weeks have passed and nary a word (ug…that just came out…I’ll punish myself by leaving that horrifyingly hackneyed phrase).  But I’ve taken to making headbands part of my casualwear. And a headband does something for one’s work ethic.

First, on biking to work…guess what? It’s not that tough and I haven’t really stopped. I’m not doing 75 miles a week anymore. But I’m definitely getting over 50. Take that, carbon footprint. It’s more like a carbon kitten paw print. Aw…my adorable minimized share of environmental damage. And about Skynard…

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – All-Time Greatest HitsNo idea what I was thinking when I got this one. I think the onset of fall has me thinking back to the gaps in my catalogue. But I don’t know why I should fixate on Skynard. I’ve always sided with the Canadian in the great Neil Young-Skynard debate. But “Sweet Home Alabama” doesn’t make this collection, not that I need to have it. But still “Simple Man” kind of bothers me, in my infinite complexity. “Curtis Lowe” is stupid. Nothing really surprises me here. I just hear beer bellies on this album. Rows and rows of swaying, dirty beer bellies. 
  • CocoRosie – The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn This is more like it. Still, an older album but only by a year. They’re like a rapping Joanna Newsom.  So unapologetically weird. Take that Skynard! You do a werewolf rap song, Ronnie Van Zant. The southern man definitely does not need these sisters around anyhow. A vast improvement from the last album. Which I liked, but threw my hands up afterwhile. I could be going back to this one a few more times.
  • Inara George – An Invitation It’s so classy. I feel like I should be wearing a vest when spinning this. The Bird and the Bee lady does a nice Sunday morning album. And the arrangements sound so ridiculously complicated that I feel I have no qualifications to say anything about them other than “good job”.

 

I’ve finally closed out August. That wasn’t too bad. September will be a doozy, however. I’ll need to wear 2 headbands.