I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

Music done run out!

That’s the problem with art. By nature it defies quantifiable measurements. Sometimes you find stuff you like, sometimes you don’t. It’s like fishing. And chaos.

Don’t worry, another payday approaches. Meanwhile, I’m studying deep cuts of The Clean for recording inspiration, and relying on Redd Kross and Mind Spiders to transport me anywhere in the world that isn’t sitting on mass transit. Happy places that are devoid of desperately unhappy people and pee smell.

Also, I missed out on this first Grinderman album the first time around. At the time I was obsessed with the second one. Rock and roll is becoming an old man’s game. For once in my life, maybe I’ll be in the right place at the right time!

Lock Down This Rock!! – 20 – Mystery Band/Mystery Album!

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

So, I’m going to review an anonymous album I have. Why would I do this? Am I a coward?

Probably. But this is a complicated issue. I have an entire illogical philosophy built up about who i will promote, and why, and not being negative, and much more. You’ll have to trust that it makes sense to at least me. Plus, now you have a puzzle to try and figure out. Email me! If you have the right answer, I’ll send you an email certificate of puzzle-ry!


This album is filled with big, indolent pop songs written by a guy who hasn’t seen a day of professional strife in his life. Each one different, a flight of fancy easily indulged because of a charmed career that consisted of being in the right place, at the right time, and sounding like a more popular artist. Early fame lead to early accolades, and built an army of yes-men and women that has convinced this artist that he can do no wrong. Is that bad? Not necessarily. But it shows.

What we have here is a collection of songs about girls with problems. Sad girls. But it’s not that simple. These are songs about fictional sad girls that only exist in the songwriter’s head. He’d like to think he knows these girls. About what makes them tick. But at most they’re romantic caricatures.

There’s quite a bit of pop sensibility, and it goes a long way toward power washing away much of the bullshit on the album. But it’s also telling that the best song on the album, by far, relies on the talents of another singer to take it to the stratosphere.

I can’t help think that the target audience for this are mopey, indie girls that grew up to be mopey, reluctantly normal mothers. And me, I guess. We all get adult contemporary, eventually. Me, I’m going to play that duet. Like, a lot.


On Payday, I like to exchange money for musical goods and services. This is what I bought!

  • River City Tanlines – Coast to Coast: Heard on the Cherry Blossom Clinic.
  • Pebbles 3 – Also heard on Terre T’s show.
  • Red Dons – A Forced Turning Point, Pariah, Death to Idealism: Like the Auslander 7″ so much, I went back for more.
  • And one other album that was released by a major label, which I refuse to list because I only promote what needs promoting. You gotta pay me to promote something backed by a marketing juggernaut. Yay, I’m petty!!

Lock Down This Rock!! – 19 – Dum Dum Girls/End of Daze

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

Why aren’t Extended Players more popular?

You’ve heard me reference that a common failing of most albums put out in to the world is the 7th song slump. The band front loads the disk with their best songs, and once you’ve passed the mid point, the steam begins to peter out. That’s where the mid temp, half formed songs go. The Hail Mary’s that don’t connect. The filler before the hopefully strong ending number(s).

With an EP, you get rid of all of that cruft. But the market clings to the album model, even in this age of post material product. Perhaps it’s the value add of MORE SONGS.

Enough rambling. More Dum Dum Girls.

I do enjoy the Dum Dum Girls. There’s a lot of catty, backstabby gossip about the band out in the wild, but I quite like their girl band worship. Giant, lush, reverb drenched pop. There’s a real world story arc behind their last few releases that reflect a mother’s sickness, death, and in this End of Daze EP, closure. That is to say these songs are structured from sad to happy.

And at the end, I want more. Maybe that’s why people don’t buy EPs.

Check ’em out!!

Lock Down This Rock!! – 18 – Nude Beach/II

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

What can you say about a band that writes Tom Petty songs, and then sings them like The Boss?

Yes, I realize that last sentence was horribly reductive in a way that only the most hacky of the hack music critics indulge in. But what happens when it’s true? Should I ignore it completely? Go out of my way to pretend the blatant influences that are worn like retro leather bomber jackets don’t exist? But how can I when you sing the word “Baby” like that? What am I to do with you Nude Beach?

Well, I’m an Elephant -in-the-room kinda guy. So there the pachyderm is, right on their album II. Tom Petty fronted by Springsteen. Well crafted jangle pop with some earnest wailing, and a stack of Byrds records.

And none of the above is a criticism. I bought the vinyl, after all. With all the cookie cutter freak folk, and tepid garage* overexposing the wells I draw from, it’s a welcome change. I will say that I’m a much bigger fan of the upbeat singles than the mid-tempo numbers. Wield those hooks, boys! Wield them like two-handed swords!

Check ’em out!!

*Obviously, there’s good stuff in these genres, but the wannabes are currently driving the bus into the lake.

Lock Down This Rock!! – 17 – I Like New Stuff!!

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

I’m into uncovering bright, new, shiny gems. My friend Rich is into digging deep in the past to uncover tarnished, old, vintage gems. Who knows why I do things the way that I do, but I’m guessing that in this case the key is: context.

Music is new once (pretty deep, eh?). The times in which we live set up a unique context. Years add history, lore, and mythology. And those are fine. But there is magic in freshly baked music, still warm enough to melt butter.

That being said, here’s what stuff I’ve been listening to that isn’t current:

  • REM – The IRS albums (mostly Document, Reckoning, and Fables Of The Reconstruction): For many years, I held that Murmur, and the greatest hits Eponymous, was all you needed until Green came around. My friend Art maintained that I couldn’t be more wrong. I see what he’s getting at. There’s lots of deep cuts just as rewarding as the hits. Damn, those guys pumped out quality.
  • Guided By Voices – Get Out Of My Stations: Rarely a week goes by that I don’t listen to GBV.
  • Melvins – Houdini: They don’t riff like this anymore. Unless you’re the Melvins. Another band that has kept the quality level up over the years. When they’re not trying to sound like a test of the Emergency Broadcast System.
  • The Lawn – What is the Sound Of…: Don’t front. There’s no way you know this band. The world’s loss. Syd Barrett by way of loopy, psychedelic prog. Reunion please!