Author Archives: mmclark

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360 Days to Pavement

Friends, enemies, mom, dad,

It’s been nigh 6 months since we cracked the pages of the dashboard here at No More Absolutes, but we’ve found a reason to live again…

The fucking Pavement reunion in 2010! Accordingly, my friends and I freaked out and bought four tickets each to the first show the minute the pre-sale opened.  And my tickets arrived in the mail today. So, yes, it’s real. NMA will be documenting the next year (that’s right, a year) of Pavement-itis.

The potential for overcooked fanboy blog posts is endless. Stay tuned. We’re still working out some division of labor stuff, but check back frequently for all things Pavement reunion.

Pavement.Ticket

The Impending Lo-fi Blacklash

OK, so I’ve been going a little hot and heavy on the political stuff lately, so, in honor of Obama’s 101st day in office, I’d like to lighten it up here and talk about music, which we’ve gotten away from recently.

My bandmates and I have been discussing the latest indie fad, the resurgence of lo-fi bands, groups like Wavves, Vivian Girls, Times New Viking and others, that have found success by burying their hooks (0r in some cases bad songwriting) in a scuzzy layer of fuzz.Here’s “an interview” with Matt Whitehurst from Psychedelic Horseshit on The Post’s music blog, in which he goes off on the New Wavve(s) and tosses [expletives] aplenty in the process.Whitehurst is practically incoherent, but he throws down on the lo-fi crew. (On a sidenote, I frankly find the fact that The Post doesn’t have the balls to just print the interview with the nasty swear words included distracting, distasteful and stupid).

Then there’s this Pitchfork review of the Japandroids record, in which you start to see some cracks in the facade of the lo-fi fad, which Pitchfork had a heavy hand in building.

Due to their two-man setup and no-frills recording, Japandroids risk being lumped into the increasingly tiresome no-fi/noise-pop scene that finds bands using distortion to tear through the fabric of the medium and, in some cases, drown out weak songs.

I’m ambivalent about Wavves, and I think No Age and Times New Viking are actually kind of badass. But I hate the fucking Vivian Girls — they’re talentless hacks, who built a following based on their charming faux-punk bullshit. Pitchfork bought the bridge and now VG are as ubiquitous as T.G.I Friday’s, or Applebee’s, or whatever.

So the lesson here is: A group of bands that record trashy, fuzzed-out does has caught on to make a half-baked movement, ginned up by the military-industrial highly-influential Pitchfork, a publication that clearly relishes its role as the tastemaker for its generation.

I’m as big of a fan as Sebadoh and Guided By Voices as the next alcoholic-in-training schlzub, but these new bands are offering much weaker sauce. Lou Barlow and Bob Pollard weren’t hiding behind fuzz, they wrote songs that shone through limited recording technologies, and succeeded in spite of  those limitations. Anyway, this is obviously a long-winded treatise, but let’s get at this. Are these bands onto something? Or are they just hiding?

And lastly, this Bob Mould-No Age interview is pretty dope for anyone who has an interest in rock and roll and recording.

I’d like to credit my friends Alex and Ben for starting this discussion.

People: Ken Lewis, You’re Fuckin’ Fired

This couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Following the Apr. 29 meeting and an extended vote count, Lewis was out as chairman, though he remained president and chief executive, as shareholders narrowly approved a resolution requiring an independent chairman. Walter E. Massey, a longtime board member and president emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, was elected chairman. All 18 board members, including Lewis, were reelected.

If there’s a poster boy for “too big to fail,” it’s Lewis. Remember that $45 billion in taxpayer money they’ve got on loan the next time you bounce a BofA check and get whacked with a $37 overdraft fee.

Specter Actually A Democrat Now!

Old news by many standards, but Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter has wisely jumped off the sinking, gun-clinging, bitter white ship that is the modern Republican Party.

Specter isn’t exactly Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but with Al Franken’s seemingly inevitable victory in Minnesota, this makes the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority at least attainable now.

The one thing I will say is that I do like Specter’s honesty about wanting to be re-elected. Plus, he’s always been “a moderate,” so this shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Phil Musser on Seeing the Face of Terror | TPMTV

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Well, now we know what the ‘Assholes of Government’ look like, thanks to Phil Musser. As my friend Petey Feliz said, at least this Gitmo thing had nothing to do with skin color. PSYCH!

More on Torture and Stupidity

Here’s Yglesias on the dreadfully faulty logic of the Bush-Cheney Regime during their torture days.

And note that when people say that “torture doesn’t work” as an intelligence-gathering method, the point isn’t that it never produces an accurate piece of information. The point is that its application doesn’t systematically enhance the quality of your intelligence. In this case, for example, not only does torture appear to have vastly eroded key elements of America’s strategy of self-presentation in the world, it contributed to our undertaking a massive policy blunder that led to much more loss of innocent life than occurred on 9/11.

The more I think about this, the more I think that prosecutions, tribunals, reconciliation committees and the impeachment of Jay Bybee are essential to solve this problem.