Quote: I think Private Dancer is a great song. Do you see a problem with that?
Do you ever get a song stuck in your head? It happens to most people. Some little ditty or the memorable part of a hit song or a carpet company jingle, you try to go to sleep and there it is, doot-doot-doo-ing away in the back of your mind. Super annoying.
Have you also noticed how the song "Private Dancer" by Tina Turner never ever gets stuck in your head, no matter how many times you've been forced to hear it? That's because "Private Dancer" is so formless and hideous that there isn't even enough of a tune there to get stuck.
"Private Dancer" is the absolute zenith of the art of 80s schlock. There's a sort of synthetic rhythm, and some schmeer of digital drama provided by the Yamaha DX7 keyboard, but no actual music. On top of it all, a creaking, tuneless yowl of a vocal, rattling up from the guts of a parchment-skinned old woman trying to sexy at you. Hideous.
So, "Private Dancer" makes the perfect palate-cleanser. Whenever you have a song stuck in your head, force yourself to mentally trudge through the song "Private Dancer," at least as much as you can remember. It also helps to imagine the video of a once-stunning, now-cartoonish Tina Turner, the last of the pain pills and red wine finally down her throat, heaving her clattering bones around the soundstage trying to sexy.
Run that through there for twenty seconds, and it's better than Drano. It clears-out whatever was stuck and leaves on its own, leaving no trace behind.
Quote: A - Billy Corgan. Huge ahole right? Like tremendously?
I have had limited dealings with Billy Corgan, and everything I personally dealt with him on, he was totally reasonable and unpretentious. He was also very generous with his time in regards to some charity stuff he was asked to do, and I applaud him for that.
Many people have passed judgment on him based on some public statements and presumptions about how he managed the membership of his bands. Even a micro celebrity like myself is occasionally asked to make statements for public consumption, so I know that things said in haste or without consideration can come back to haunt you. Also, not having been in his bands, I'm not prepared to say what he should or shouldn't have done with the members, and who "counts" as a "real" band member.
Quote: I always heard he was kind of reviled by the 'real underground' Chicago bands for being a sellout...
The first part is true, but not necessarily because of the second part. You are asking about historical perspectives, and I happened to be around while this was underway, so maybe I can shed some light.
In Chicago in the late 1980s, there began to develop a kind of budding professionalism that struck us in the punk/underground scene as distasteful: Bands with managers, publicists and other agents were encroaching on a self-made scene that had previously been by, for and about the bands themselves.
The Smashing Pumpkins personified this creeping professionalism, having a management relationship with a creepy local music business player who was also responsible for booking the biggest venue in town. As a result, any decent touring band that came through town would have the Smashing Pumpkins added to the bill as a support act. This was rightfully seen as an imposition, and patrons learned to arrive at the Metro an hour later than usual in order to miss them. It isn't overstating things to say they were something of a joke in Chicago -- a band imposed on an existing audience by the music business rather than a band building its natural audience through accretion.
Additionally, early on they were associated with the exceptional band the Poster Children, through some shows and a shared label. The Poster Children (and other bands from the same downstate scene, like Hum) were an obvious and direct influence on the Smashing Pumpkins' sound. For anyone familiar with both, it is hard to see how the a lesser derivation of the Poster Children's sound could be hailed as some kind of revolutionary genius, except by rock critics and music business people unaware of anything at the street level.
In some of those public statements I mentioned earlier, Billy Corgan has derided the underground scene of the day, saying it was clique-ish and insular, and that he wanted to rebel against it by going through conventional rock star channels to become a conventional rock star. Well, bully for that kind of thinking, I guess, if you think being a retrograde reactionary and joining the suffocating mainstream culture and business is some kind of rebellion, and if you think the penthouse of the managers and lawyers is somehow more open and inviting than the open field of the DIY scene.
For those of us involved daily in bucking that system, it was gross.
Quote: (which I think is BS, like they wouldn't sell out for millions if they had a chance).
Especially considering who you're talking to right now, you ought to realize this is pure nonsense.
Quote: B - What did you think of Siamese Dream. Even if you hate SP and/or Billy, you have to admit that album RAWKED and still does.
Quote: which I think is BS, like they wouldn't sell out for millions if they had a chance).
Especially considering who you're talking to right now, you ought to realize this is pure nonsense.
If your only goal was to sell records, how big of a rock star do you think you could have been? Billy Corgan big? Much bigger? Which rock star would you place as the upper bound on how famous you could have become?
I think this is what you ment by your statement, sorry if I got it wrong.
I keep trying to needle you into saying something negative about modern music, especially hiphop. Is there any that you like?
You've mentioned some soul and R&B singers here, which I didnt find surprising, even though it seems out of character, (rockers are only supposed to like rock, DJs aren't supposed to listen to indiepop etc)...and this is awesome. But some might say that eclecticism can ruin a persons musical focus, especially as a youngster. Some of the best rock and rollers I've know personally have been totally ignorant of everything outside of their genre...is this just an accident of their obsession, or a necessity for them to be
Did you ever say something nice about a person's music just to (wait for it...) get in her pants? You once said that Liz Phair was the least terrible "alternative rock" act in Chicago...COINCIDENCE?
SOME POKER QUESTIONS:
Any poker ambitions (play in WSOP, higher stakes, etc) Any poker heros? (Beside Andy B obv) Ever played with any pros? Future of poker predictions?
SOME LIFE QUESTIONS:
What would you tell a young stalwart man-boy who never seems to get it going with the ladies? Say he writes long dopey letters to chicks after they reject him on their first date? Is he hopeless? If not, should he get a hooker just to clear his mind, or should he just listen to his older and wiser friends and just keep going out and getting rejected until he isn't afraid of chicks? How can we get him to stop putting tha P on a pedestal?
Quote: 1) Do you need a cranked tube amp to get a good overdriven amp tone on to tape? Any tips for miking 1x12 combo amps, multiple mics?
A good rule of thumb is that if you want the sound of a certain amplifier, then you ought to use that amplifier to record. Trying to fool Mother Nature is seldom a realistic goal. There isn't a single standard for what makes a good guitar sound -- it's all relative to the kind of music being played and the techniques in play. But if you aren't happy with the sound of your amplifier, you shouldn't record it and hope that some magic happens to make you like it on tape. If you are happy with the sound as-is, then you need to get better at capturing that sound, and that takes experience.
Quote: 2) What would your advice be for a 34 year old singer songwriter who just wants to get his music recorded for himself more than for release? Hire musicians and go to the cheapest studio possible? Try to do it at home?
Recording is a strange objective. I have always seen playing the music as the goal, and recording as a document of the playing. To that end, I would suggest trying to get a band together (even as a pastime) and get comfortable playing the songs. Recording it with this band should then be a pretty straightforward exercise, and you can certainly do it in the practice room. If you just want to make demos of the songs without putting a band together, then you'll either need to pay or cajole musicians into playing them, or you can do everything yourself as overdubs.
Quote: 3) It seems that a lot of "indie music" rejects pop type melodies, what is your take on music that's easy to listen to in that sense, too obvious to be good?
You are apparently ignorant of the enormous number of indie pop bands out there who strive for nothing more than obvious, memorable melodies. There are thousands of such bands. If you mean the ugly end of the spectrum, okay, there are people like me who have no taste for pop music, and don't pretend to understand it.
Quote: 4) How about a trade. Help with my music for NLHE lessons?
If you can beat the Tuesday Game, you can make enough in a couple of months to record your songs, and I'll get all the lesson I can handle in the process. Send me a PM.
Quote: 5) Why and when did you stop taking drugs?
In early 1981, when I realized that I didn't like being drunk or high, and that I turned into a real prick when I drank. Imagine that.
Quote: 6) What do you think about multi-genre fusion shredders like Guthrie Govan?
It shouldn't surprise you to know that I've never thought about Guthrie Govan, not once, not even now.
Quote: 7) What's your guitar rig (guitar, pedalboard, amps, etc)?
It's posted on guitargeek, and is pretty accurate. There is no external A/B box, but otherwise, they got it right.
But as for performing comics, probably Bill Hicks (who my girlfriend introduced me to) or Richard Pryor. Currently, Andy Kindler and Patton Oswalt.
Quote: Also, who has been the most unintentionally hilarious musician you've ever met (besides Urge Overkill)?
Larry Damore. Spend an evening with him and you'll learn everything it takes to get through life as a guy from Chicago. Everything. Double smoothies, the bye-bye clown, how to grow weed in your mom's house, why not to toast marshmallows with a fork, what to do when you accidentally drop acid, how to answer the phone, what to do with a wrong number (and which tollway rest stop to do it at)...