Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Huh? Moments in Advertising

The greatest aspect of this critical drubbing isn't even in the column. It's a perfect example of incongruous Web advertising.

The review is terrific. I love a lambasting with style. "Bad taste doesn't begin to describe the revulsion it evokes when you first hold it in your hands," writes Rutten. Brilliant.

I wonder, then, his reaction to the ads that follow the column, under the dateline. You have to read the column for this to make sense. But in case it changes, here's the "Ads by Google" block that follows Rutten's review:

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Rain Radio... G Dazzle Theme Hour

Radiohead - Sit Down, Stand Up

Prince - Purple Rain

BJ Thomas - Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head

Curley Weaver - Some Rainy Day

Singing in the Rain

Johnnie Ray - Just Walking in the Rain

Irma Thomas - It's Raining

Marty Robbins - September in the Rain

Bobby Darin - Don't Rain On My Parade

Supertramp - It's Raining Again

Eddie Rabbitt - I love a Rainy Night

Steve Young - Montgomery in the Rain

Ryan Adams - Damn, Sam (I love a woman that rains)

Tom Waits - A Little Rain (For Clyde)

The Beatles - Rain

Blind Melon - No Rain

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown

What is it about The Kings of Leon that makes them so much fun to listen to? At the risk of deconstruction, I offer this analysis:

1. Simple song structure - the hallmark of a good pop band is taking simple, repetitive chord structures and turning them into something inimitable.

2. Good bass - the best bands know how to weight their instruments. Guitar idolatry is a sin. An alternate harmony bass line is sacrosanct. Especially if you've figured out a clean, organic sound like KOL has. Think "Longview" or "Seven Nation Army." It's all about the bass.

3. Voice - obvious, but a good voice that doesn't insist on album domination allows a huge range.

First impressions: way-past-bed-bottle-of-wine-deep edition:

Totally enjoyable, fun listening. How can you not like this band? A bright summery sound that complements a barbecue, drunken conversation, walk to school or anything in between. As I drove through the northwest Sierras last summer, listening to "Only By the Night," I was overjoyed - this band travels and they make traveling music.

Shades of Huey Lewis, Elvis Costello, the Kinks, the Police and the Avett Brothers. Somehow, KOL evokes favorites without being derivative. The best drinking music I could imagine.

Check out "Come Around Sundown," the latest Kings of Leon record.

Recommended: "Birthday" and "Back Down South"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2010

This year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival had a lot to live up to. It didn't fail. It was as emotionally powerful as ever. And a lot of fun. Here's some pics I took over a couple of days. Be sure to check out The Life of Rasket for some equally (well almost) good pictures of the event. Click on the pictures for the full-size image.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops play old-timey tunes with verve and panache.
Jugs, Jews harp, they are decidedly more low-tech than most of the other bands, even at a bluegrass festival.

With impeccable style, no less.

My favorite crowd shot. There's so much to see in this photo. I especially like the anxious girl in red.

Elvis Costello and Jerry Douglas slayed 'em.


Exene is incredible - a really haunting beautiful sound.

This is a nice stage because it's not overcrowded. You can move around and see the bands from different places.

Exene talked about the Phoenix Hotel. Apparently, she's seen a ghost in her 20+ years staying there.

Exene was one of many to sing songs about L.A. I didn't hear anyone do "If You're Going to San Francisco."

Someone snapping a photo of Patti Smith amongst the throngs.

Go Giants!

Patti Smith is an amazing presence. Her "Play With Fire" cover was exceptional. She drew the most tears, from what I could tell.

Randy Newman. Wonder if he brought that piano from home.

Nice Gillian Welch suspenders.

Lots of stylish people to gawk at.

"I Love L.A." may have sparked some rivalry in the audience.

Dancing to "Stacy's Mom." Fountains of Wayne was a bit of a head-scratcher,