Collected Thoughts from the Past Two Weeks

Home from Mexico Wednesday, and I’m just going to outline some of the things I noticed while travelling.

  • I sang the new Five Star Crush jam to myself at least twice a day.  Joel’s knocked this one out of the park.  I can’t wait for you guys to hear it – if we’re lucky, in a couple weeks at recordBar with Roman Numerals.
  • You Minnesota high schoolers listen to so many club jams!  Seriously, we were five days in to the trip before I heard anything but urban dance-rap joints from your battery-operated iPod+speaker thing.  That surprised me.  You guys don’t listen to rock at all anymore, or even straight up hip-hop?  Do you like the new Maroon5 uptempo stuff?  I sure do.  I hope that’s a hit.
  • I think I have my recording process for …Boots figured out now.  The secret; felt guitar picks.  I may be hooked.
  • A Tijuana rock band, Libre 3:20, played a plugged-in set at our campfire after our last day of work.  Libre 3:20, you did a Herculean task; you breathed some life into 20- and 30-year old “comtemporary” Christian worship songs.  But the *one* original Latin tune you played was eight million times better!  Do your true thing, men, and know that there is a huge US market for good Latin music!  (Good job Victor, drum substitute!  You’re going to make a living on the drums, I can tell.)
  • Waking up slowly in the hotel room Wednesday, I wrote a new thing that matches with my “Hiplife” stuff from Africa a couple years ago (it’s all un-recorded) with a little of that Ventura spice.  That’s fun; it’ll really be something someday.
  • Christian high school groups and leaders (my teammates excluded!) – we can do better than singing “I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever” endlessly and thinking we’re edgy or even relevant.  I was dissappointed as I walked around the AMOR campsite and heard the same old stuff.  It’s become rote and empty.  Let’s have some imagination and artistry and truth reflected in our music!  Discover Mike Doughty or Derek Webb, or (if you have some extra time) check out my “Hawaiian Bells.”
  • Young women: thank you for bringing knee-length shorts back in fashion.  You look great and we’re all more comfortable.  Keep it up.
  • New CDs That I Will Try To Review In More Detail: Phoenix It’s Never Been Like That (3 stars), Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops, The Decembrists The Crane Wife, The Roots Game Theory (4 stars), Elliott Smith Figure 8 (4 stars, with the potential for five if I grow to love it that much).

5 thoughts on “Collected Thoughts from the Past Two Weeks”

  1. Dude-

    First, high school kids listening to urban club jams? Like what? Are we talking about Lil’ Jon type crunk music here?

    Second, if it were up to me, young women would dress like the Amish when us counselors are around. Kids are dressing older these days and it freaks my shit out. I wish Lara wore big poncho more often, too.

    Third, I want to hear more F*C.

    Fourth, anyone who can write GOOD spiritual music is awesome, because it’s hard to do it without either sounded cheesy or fucking up the message.

    Finally, “Figure 8”, “Either/Or”, and “Elliot Smith” all get a glowing 5 stars from me, with “Roman Candle” getting at least 4 and “From A Basement…” getting 3, maybe 4 (the songs are awesome, but the production is WAY too slick). I don’t know what to do about “New Moon” since judging it as a proper album is difficult, but I will say that I listen to those songs just as much as the “regular” stuff. “From A Basement…” is weird too, because the songs were picked and ordered by people who weren’t Elliott, so that almost doesn’t count, either.

    But anyway, best tracks on “Figure 8”: “Somebody That I Used To Know”, “Everything Reminds Me Of Her”, “Stupidity Tries”, “Easy Way Out”, and “Better Be Quiet Now”. But the whole thing is fucking amazing. That was my first Elliott Smith CD, and once I got used to that lush orchestrated sound, I worked my way backwards. That’s how I got hooked on lo-fi basement 8-track folk-punk. It’s the shit! And not enough people do it. I mean, there are plenty of emo-folksters out there (boring) but I want to hear more pissed-off Beatles/NMH/Simon and Garfunkel-influenced people!

  2. Hey Howie, I was going over some old emails and stuff recently and I had a question from the past pop up. Whatever happened to the Neil Young thing?

  3. Speaking of Derek Webb, he’s got a new album “The Ringing Bell” that I highly reccomend. I think you’d like it Howie. Did you ever get Mockingbird?

  4. This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title ious Records : Collected Thoughts from the Past Two Weeks. Thanks for informative article

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