More top ten…and Springsteen (not the rock star)…

First off, after two weeks I can say that Springsteen is doing quite well adjusting to his new home. Likewise Phoebe has become a great big sister to the pup. I’ll post more pix soon. We’re also closing up all the work on the Connecticut State Film Commission Tax Credit we’re receiving for FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) and I will be posting a long blog explaining how everything went down, a good how-to for other indie filmmakers in the state.

But for now, yet another Top Ten CD list. This time from old friend Rob DeRosa. For the best of CT-based music you can hear Rob’s radio show on Thursdays on WESU FM, which is 88.1FM. It’s called HOMEGROWN. You can also listen to archived shows at: www.myspace.com/thinmanmusiclabel

Here now is his top ten:

The Hold Steady- Stay Positive. How could an ex Springstee fan not like these guys? Way too many words sometimes and chock full arrangements- that’s what drew me to early Bruce and it’s what enthralls me about The Hold Steady. I just hope there is no Nebraska in them to screw it all up.

The Mountain Movers- Why Don’t We open the Chest. This band is a pleasure. While I loved the horns on the first CD, the less is more approach here works even better. If Ric promises to bring extra strings, I’ll hire them for Daffodil Fest so I can hear this stuff live in my own backyard, so to speak.

The Manchurians 5×4, The Minster EP. I know, my label. But if this and my next picks were not worthy, we wouldn’t max out credit putting them out. This one rocks in a different way than the last one- probably due to Dean’s layering of sounds and his co-writing energizing Roger to write more songs than he ever did. Short- liethey like their live sets- but it kicks ass.

Frank Critelli- Watlzing Through Quicksand. Frank’s songs always had room for a full band and this disc shows why. His songs here are expansive and moving- and the tight band behind him propells him to rock star staus instead of simply the best folkie out there.

The Sawtelles- Dime Museum. Previously a either love ’em or leave ’em style- this CD shows incredible growth and cohesion of their rather unothadox style. Shany Lawson produced them the way it should have always been. Peter’s words are intiguing and Julie sings better than ever before.

MGMT- Oracular Spectacular suffice to say that this incredibly popular band was for all intense and purposes, my discovery. Well. not entirely- but the Wesleyan duo got their first off campus gig from me- as well as their first club date at Cafe 9 and their first airplay on my radio show. Then they went on to play every festival in the world this year( Cochella, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Leeds, Reading, SXSW, Austin City one, two in australia and a few in Japan.) and get on most big music magazines best of lists. They deserve it. It’s a psychedelic dance fest with pithy, ironic and cheeky lyrics. AND the drummer is nailing Kirstin Dunst. Every young rockers dream story.

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Life IS too short to deal with assholes…

Unfortunately they surround us. 

Recently I posted an ad looking for musicians to score my new film, and/or to provide additional songs for the sountrack.  I wanted to see what was out there.

One particular West Coast musician responded and provided two links, neither of which I could get to play.  I wrote back and said as much, asking politely for another link.  As a response I am told that my computers are not working properly and/or perhaps I don’t know how to use them.  But the bright young lad does provide a working link this time.  After hearing the music, I write back telling his thanks but it’s not really what I’m looking for…I had in the ad requested a Replacements-like sound, i.e. drunken bar music…guitar based rock n roll.  (He seemed to overlook the description of what is was looking for.)

This musician in question responds, telling me that I should have known that because of his training classical music  he could write a drunken rock song in his sleep…anyone could. 

Now, yes, I should have lived by my asshole rule.  Instead I rightfully argued that no one genre of music was easier or harder than the next if done to perfection.  That “Here Comes A Regular” by the Mats was just as hard to create as any piece by Bach, Chopin, whomever.  I also tried to (again politely) inform the musician that when attempting to get a job attacking the potential employer is not the best way to go about it.

Of course this unleashed a torrent.  My films sucks.  My novels suck.  Lots of big words, like a 5-year-old jacking off with a thesaurus.  He just knew from the ad that FWB sucked.  (Not really sure why he answered the ad if that was the case.)  The emails get longer and longer, despite my one line replies.  I finally tell the asshole in question I don’t read long emails.  I don’t.  This is a fact, a rule, that I live by.  I simply refuse to.  If you can’t say it in a couple of lines, then don’t bother saying it at all.  Or pick up the goddamn phone.  Yet he continues writing these thesis-length missives, of which I read the first line, then delete…and delete again…until I finally block his email.

Of course, instead of listening, instead of taking a hint, he throws a tantrum, and writes me from another email address.  It’s another long one.  Didn’t read it.  As soon as I realized who sent it, I reported it as spam.  Hopefully the spam police beat him to death with their billy clubs.  Save me the effort.

I guess this leads me to ask, why?  Can a musician in a band (note, I never insulted his music, though I might say now he listened to a little too much Emerson Lake and Palmer in the womb) whose claim to fame is a MySpace profile really think that much of themselves?  Does one really believe a degree from any university makes their shit not stink?  Does any musician worth the weight of their string actually believe their genre of music is the hardest?  And hold other genres in little respect?  (Really now, to write a great piece of music, no matter the genre, takes a lifetime of pain, or experience.  And to think otherwise is nothing short of, well, a racism of sorts…genre-ism…bigotry…the MySpace lad might as well wear a white sheet over his head ready to lynch the blues, rock, CW, folk, etc., and so on.)

I hope not.  Because if this were true we are in a sadder shape than even I first believed. 

And wow…I don’t have much faith.

Except perhaps in dogs…

 (and the Replacements)

J