Author Archive

The Importance of Good Music: My Answer To The Bargain Bin

This song is good and I don’t care that it’s by a band we were too old to accept.


Let Me Tell You Things That I Think

This last weekend I went and celebrated the 4th of July in Austin.  I went to the green belt and Trudy’s for the first time.  The fact that Trudy’s has a happy hour from 10 am until noon on a Sunday is hilarious.  It was a good time as both nights there ended with me and a Four Loko and no clear recollection the following morning of what happened.

Today was my last day of summer classes and I decided to celebrate by buying the Shiner Family Reunion 12 pack.  If my grammar is incorrect, I apologize.  I am currently on beer 10.  Oh lawd.

I have spent a life of buying cds, vinyl, books, toys, etc.  I have, in the last few months, begun the process of getting rid of all of them.  My friends think I’m crazy and that this is some temporary phase that I will soon regret.  But truth be told, it’s not.  Peak Oil.

Peak Oil.

I could elaborate on it but I hope that those two words will get you guys to look into the fact that there’s no hope, we’re all fucked, and there’s no way a collection of Animal Collective EPs is going to save you.

/end drunken “rant.”

Into The Hills: Flooding, Contemplation, and Belligerence

One night in the summer of 2007, Liz Powell held a party at the apartment complex she shared with her good friend, Summer.  If I recall correctly there were two kegs and a fair number of people.  At one point my jewish friend, Grant Gold, showed up randomly and demanded we drive my car to the Frisbee house.  When we arrived I was confused because we had just left an amusing party for what seemed like nothing at all.  As soon as we pulled up I told him I was going back and he started walking away from my car in the classic, annoyed Grant Gold fashion (stomping his feet while yelling “God Dammit!” at the sky).

I got back to Liz’s apartment complex and noticed nobody was around anymore.  I tried to open the door but it was locked.  Confused, I called Jonny.

“Hogan, go home.  The party’s over- cops busted it.”

I turned around and got back into my car.  It was kind of late, I was pretty drunk, but I didn’t want to go home just yet.  I drove to Taco Cabana and bought some tortillas and melted cheese (I ate this often as it was cheap and extremely delicious.  Better than nachos, in fact).  Around the time of the party the Aquifer was overflowing due to excessive rains.  The river at Sewell Park was literally centimeters away from overflowing onto the adjacent sidewalks.  I remember thinking to myself: I am drunk, this river is raging, I’ve been driving around with Roky Erickson’s “Don’t Shake Me, Lucifer” on repeat for at least 30 minutes- wouldn’t jumping into this river be the epic ending to an epic night?

Fortunately, I opted not to jump in.  The destructive, idiotic state alcohol puts one in when they make dangerous decisions was there, but I suppose my survival instinct was able to suppress it.  Had other drunks been there I’m sure we would have enabled one another to commit such a moronic act.

The point is this, as I mentioned earlier, I had been listening to one Rocky Erickson  song on repeat at nearly full blast while driving around the backhills of San Marcos.  Certain songs, all in the rock genre, are capable of releasing some mutated form of adrenaline within me that’s like no other form of energy.  When I used to go jogging, Slayer’s “Angel of Death” and Andrew W.K.’s “I Get Wet” caused my adrenaline reserves to release instantaneously.  When I hear most pre-Back in Black AC/DC, I don’t care what I’m doing, I’ll feel the need to be running at full speed while the ground below me crumbles and explosions go off all around me.  The only non-“rock” song I get a feeling similar to this from is “Ding Dang” by the Beach Boys.  I wrote to Mark Prindle and told him that I always envision myself standing atop two gigantic pillars, stomping up and down, while millions of people dance below me.  I actually used to simulate this on my bed in front of Boggs the Dog as he jumped up around me and, I must say, it was quite enjoyable.

I Miss Pepsi Blue: A Chronicle In Improvements

Ah, the ease of being 18.  I’m 25 right now and the growing responsibilities of life have begun to make me lose hair, and what hair I haven’t lost must be turning grey.  I still harbor the same dreams I developed after reading On The Road and Evasion, which provide me comfort when I think about things like China’s growing power, the economy, peak oil, and the fact that I have little interest in ever embarking on a “career.”  But enough of this nonsense, it’s time to get down to what really matters.

I was talking with a girl who went to SXSW this weekend and she was fortunate enough to see one of my favorite bands of the last year, Cymbals Eat Guitars.  When I asked her how packed it was she said that, compared to other shows, there was hardly anybody there.  I couldn’t believe it- how could a band who wrote what was probably the most memorable album of 2009 (Clay Nightingale’s S/T aside) have had such poor attendance?  She told me Surfer Blood was the hot act, a band classified in the same genre/style as Cymbals.  How could that be?  Shouldn’t the hipsters flock to Cymbals considering their album got 0.1 points higher than Surfer Blood on Pitchfork?

I’m sure you guys have heard Cymbals by now, but if you haven’t (and you’ll thank me for this) here’s my second favorite song off the album.  The album opener, my favorite, is a little long and I didn’t want anyone to be reluctant to listen due to time constraints.

Ωåπßµº: The Final Attack -2000x

I literally posted the equivalent of one full Word.doc page and then deleted it.  It’s time to get simple and just listen.

The Thermals – Here’s Your Future

Revolver Isn’t A Great Album.

Needed something to get your attention.  But seriously, as someone who loves The Beatles, I can say with all sincerity that Revolver is highly overrated.  Everything that came after it was much better.  But Revolver and its predecessor, Rubber Soul, are extremely important albums.  And I’m not speaking about their impact on popular music/culture during that time, but rather I’m talking about the competitive drive they ignited in Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

Most buffoons out there think of the Beach Boys as a novelty act from the sixties that wrote a couple hits about surfing.  What these cum-guzzlers fail to realize is that during the mid-sixties, the Beach Boys and the Beatles were pretty much the two biggest bands on the planet and they were inspiring each other to write better music.  Unfortunately Sgt. Pepper’s, Mike Love, and copious amounts of drugs derailed Brian Wilson leaving the Beatles as the torchbearers of pop music for the remainder of the decade.

Now I know this “Cuts in the Conclave” community is a collection of music aficionados who are probably already well versed in the tumultuous and eclectic history of the Beach Boys so I won’t indulge myself in making the transition from point a to b right here.  Goddammit, alright, I’ll say a little.  After Pet Sounds, Brian pretty much fell into the background and wasn’t half the producer/writer he had been (I’m speaking about official Beach Boy releases).  For the next decade the band put out really good albums that never got the attention they deserved and many of these albums would recycle lost classics that should have been released on SMiLE. This brings up the purpose of my post.

Surf’s Up, IMO the last truly great Beach Boys album, was released in 1971.  With the exception of “Student Demonstration Time” (fuck you, Mike Love), every song on this album is a winner.  Most critics will cite the title-track and lost SMiLE gemstone, “Surf’s Up,” and “Till I Die” as the album’s two best songs.  The former- most definitely, the latter- not really, especially considering it tends to overshadow the preceding, much better “A Day In The Life of a Tree.”  I have never understood why nobody talks about this song.  Seriously, it blows my fucking mind.  All I ever hear/read is “OMGz ‘Till I Die’ is brilliant” and fuck me, it is, but “A Day In The Life of a Tree” is hauntingly beautiful and I’ve never called anything “hauntingly beautiful.”

I’m gonna stop here and just post the song.  I’d say it’s up there with “Don’t Worry Baby” and “I’m Waiting For The Day” as one of the best songs Brian Wilson ever wrote.

A Day In the Life of a Tree

Getting Run Over By A Brand New Range Rover

Rivers Cuomo: Great musician or greatest musician?  I don’t know yet.  Should he release another album on par with their first self titled album or Pinkerton then he will most likely cement his legacy.  In recent years Weezer has only put out a few worthy songs, but even those don’t compare to some of the b-sides and out-takes from their nineties heyday.

Next month, Geffen records will be releasing Pinkerton: Deluxe Edition, which will include a remastered Pinkerton plus unreleased songs and b-sides.  One of the unreleased songs, ‘Getting Up & Leaving,’ is a song I flew halfway across the country to hear, but the n00bs attending what should have been a l33t fest hindered that attempt dramatically.  Fortunately, though, we did get to hear (and sing along to) the Weezer masterpiece, “Waiting on You.”  I wholeheartedly believe this is one of the top five Weezer songs of all time and it’s a shame the general public is largely unaware of its existence.

Waiting On You