Thursday, August 14, 2008

screamo indie concrete crunk housecore

i'll no doubt show my age with the following rant, but remember when there were, like, i don't know -- seven classifications of pop music? "rock" covered pretty much everything from bananarama to bob marley to zappa. then you had "soul", which included r&b, gospel, funk, beach music, and early rock'n'roll. "country" covered anything that had too much twang to be "rock" or "soul". "jazz", "classical" and "soundtracks" were satellites off in their own little music galaxies. the classifications didn't always make sense, but at least you had a limited number of places you had to look in order to find something. (yes, kids, there used to be brick and mortar "record stores" with bins and bins of recordings in various tangible formats, like "cassette tapes", "compact discs", and "vinyl". no google search. no mp3 clips. no digital catalogues of releases. and we felt lucky to have that analog existence. we knew the value of a limited 7" pressing, let me tell you.)

at some point, the catch-all supercategories began to be overshadowed by subclassifications, which was cool... broadening the musical horizons of the music-buying public and perhaps inspiring artists to explore new music frontiers as well. the subcategories were manageable by and, for the most part, actually made sense to consumers. for a time, they actually *helped* you find what you wanted and browse new stuff you might like. there were some weird subcats sometimes, but most of the time they preceded a genre which was about to blow up and go mainstream (or at least lucratively culty).

i was able to ride the subcat train for a long time. no prob. the more i drifted away from commercial radio and toward independently owned stores and college playlists, the more bold new musical genres i discovered. all good.

i'm not sure exactly when i got off the train and was left at the station, but the subcat train is long gone. the now-dead local annual sleazefest helped me get a pretty good grip on various subsets of modern punk and rockabilly. (nothing illustrates "psychobilly" like a performance involving a redneck guitarist wearing nothing but a dixie cup.)

but i knew i was in trouble when i started coming across terms like "twee" and "emo". and as i peruse the available musical genres on myspace, i know i am a clueless old-school dork. some of these have got to be totally made-up: concrete, electroacoustic (how can something be electro *and* acoustic?), hyphy (hyphy? what?), emotronic, shoegaze (wait, i think i ran into some leftover shoegaze fans before the sxsw japan showcase. i thought they were emo at the time.), visual (i think someone's getting their senses confused)... my favorite one is "screamo". (i hope somewhere out there is a band named "screamin' emo".) i like that they have a category for "melodramatic popular song". 'cause you want to find those bands. and apparently anyone can make a new genre by just adding "-core" to an existing genre. myspace also has a status emoticon for "crunk". i didn't think crunk was a state of mind. drink it, yes. be it? hmmm. then again, i didn't think "architect" was a verb. what do i know?

you can also choose "pirate" as your mood. so i guess if you are working with a mood spectrum that includes pirate and jedi as well as "exanimate", nothing is impossible.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

hello, babies. welcome to earth.

happiest of birthdays to my sister ann and my bud holden. yeah!

flowerhead says: have a nice day!

aren't you glad i didn't get you a cakewreck?

there are new wrecks posted, just in time for you to enjoy on your special day. show me the wrecks!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

resistance is futile

i have been assimilated into the myspace hive. it had to happen sometime. *technically* this is the second time around... i had a brief myspace stint a couple of years ago so i could converse with tim easton, whose musical career i've been following since he played the late lamented pine hill farm, like, ten years ago and upon whom i had a raging crush at the time (ah, youth!). almost instantaneously, spambots across the universe were aware of my existence. so, heavy with unrequited crushies and a mailbox full of offers of male enhancement (i know - the irony!), i withdrew from the world's largest single collection of the ugliest webpages *ever*. (the rest of the story: the spamathon halted almost immediately. and i still see tim whenever he's in town. cake = having + eating)

so what, you ask, has drawn me back in? no, not hot crushies on a mcdreamy singer/songwriter/guitarist, as delightful as that might be. it's a graphic design contest. ok, it's for a band poster, but it's not like that, i swear! for reals, i was not even familiar with the band beforehand. i've just always wanted to design album covers and show posters, and i couldn't resist the opportunity to design for yeproc records, who is local and whose bands i tend to like. the added bonus is that the band in question -- previously unknown to me -- has turned out to be awesome. nice!

so, the scoop is that yeproc announced the contest in their last newsletter: design a poster for mercury rev's upcoming release, "snowflake midnight", submit it to the band's myspace blog, and then wait patiently (or not) for the band to choose the winner. as those with myspace experience know, you have to join in order to post anything. so i did. (i feel so cheap ;-))

thankfully, spam filters keep getting better and myspace has taken some measures to reduce spaminocity. but as an added measure, i got a freebie web-based email account for my myspace identity.

and i have to say that working on the poster has been great fun. the whole process of researching the band's visual and musical identities, and conceptualizing while listening to their songs totally ruled. as i said, i've always wanted to design something like this, and attending flatstock at sxsw two years ago only fueled the fire.

you can see the finished product here:

i'll let you know how it goes (the winner will be announced some time after aug 18).

i'm also submitting a piece to the ARTspark component of local creativity-fest sparkcon (happening in sept). i'm sure i'll soon be ridiculously in demand. ;-)

Monday, August 4, 2008

this is why i love the interwebs

because without it, i would never have experienced the awesomeness that is cake wrecks. thanks be to the blog gods. and people actually willing to admit they paid for one of these cakes. there is something for everyone here -- egregious use of quotation marks for riva, the world's worst r2-d2 cakes for the lintqueen, carrot-riding mohawk babies for me...

yes, i said "carrot-riding mohawk babies". if i hadn't seen it, i wouldn't have been able to conceive of it. although really, most of the featured cakes defy all the laws of nature. gravity, color families, tastefulness, proportion, spelling -- you name it, you can see it violated by a cake decorator. if you ever had any qualms about ordering a custom cake, these atrocities will put you off *forever*. the baby shower cakes *alone* are enough to scar you for life.

i laughed so hard i wept. my throat hurts. and i keep going back and laughing some more.

lintqueen, do not -- i repeat -- do not try to consume a beverage while viewing the cake wrecks. i will not be responsible for any spewage that may occur. ;-)