Dec 5 2003
In Search Of "The JD Salinger of Rock"
If you want I'll sell you a life story / About a man who's at loggerheads with his past all the time / He's alive and living in purgatory / All he's doing is rooming up in hotels / And scooping up lots of wine...
He was born to live like a mercenary / Well personally I think that's fine / If you're in the right mind / He was burned by the twentieth century / Now he's doing time
Now I will be the first person to tell you that information leafblower is filled with rhetoric and bombast and me mostly talking out of my ass. I like to make wild claims (like how the Celtics would win more than 44 games this year) and spout off on topics like I invented them. So here is another one for you.
THE LA'S ARE THE BEST BAND OF OUR GENERATION
I'm completely serious. Name a record better than their self titled debut. Go ahead. Try it. The Stone Roses? Maybe, but I'd rate the La's higher. Definitely Maybe? Nope. OK Computer? Surely you jest. Is This It? Piss off.
The funny thing is singer/songwriter/certifiable mad genius Lee Mavers (second from left in the picture above) totally disowns the record. He doesn't like the way it sounds even though his label spent over one million pounds to redo it it endlessly to his specifications. It's a very entertaining story. People say Mavers collected dust off of antique recording equipment and sprinkled it on the instruments they were using to record with to increase their "vibe". He thinks digital is a four letter word. Finally the label brought in Steve Lillywhite to put some order to the tunes and put it out without Mavers consent.
I saw Steve Lillywhite backstage at a Travis show in NYC and I'm still mad at myself for not going up to him and asking him about his experiences with the project. And yes, I'm such a dork I can recognize record producers at concerts. Did I ever tell you about the time I was hanging with Pat McCarthy and Nigel Godrich at a Grant Lee Buffalo gig at Irving Plaza? But I digress...
Everyone knows, or should know, the La's for their masterpiece There She Goes which in recent years has been ruined by the hacks in Sixpence None The Shittier. The Gap even used a La's song in an add a few years ago with young Hollywood stars(Ashton Kutcher?) and starlets riding their bikes down Madison Ave with no traffic around, so there are fans out there.
Noel Gallgher, at the height of his songwriting prowess, once said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "There is only one songwriter that SCARES me because of how good he is. I respect Paul Weller and Richard Ashcroft for their talents, but Lee Mavers is SCARY talented. He could put the rest of us to shame easily."
I think the La's are genius because of the simplicity of their songs. 2 guitars, one bass and some drums. A catchy chorus and hook with some poignant lyrics in between. Jangling guitars. Liverpool Accents. Mavers is a disciple of the "less is more" theory. Why come up with another verse if you can sing "do do do do" instead. What more can you ask for?
I will be the first person to admit that Mavers reclusive tendincies have done more to push the bands legend than their meager output. Rumours of heroin addiction have swirled around him for over a decade.
Anyway, a fan in England decided he wanted to write a book about the La's and their troubled history and set out to the task of tracking Lee Mavers and the rest of the former bandmembers down to tell their tale to the world. The finished product is published Monday in the UK and would make a great present for anyone that wants to send me a Christmas present. If you don't want to pay the shipping for the book, iTunes Music Store coupons are appreciated as well. A new G4 iBook wouldn't be too bad either. Ok, I'll stop.
In related news, i went over the 10,000 hit mark yesterday. I'm very proud of this accomplishment, obvs. I'm not talking crappy page views, I'm talking unique visitors. Beyond Hot. A sincere thanks to everyone that comes here and reads what I have to say.
NOTES OF INTEREST FROM THE INTERWEB
- Anatomy of the iPod. Essential reading.
- Former Phillies skipper Terry Francona is the Red Sox' new manager. I thought about it more and I like the Schilling trade. He's one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball and has made a living out of winning the big game and beating the Yankees. At first I was mad because the Red Sox traded two of their top prospects for Schilling but the Sox need to win NOW, not 4 years from now. Go Theo go. ARod is still a possibility but not altogether likely.
- The Celtics schedule gets alot tougher in December. 15 remaining games, 10 against the Western Conference and three sets of back to backs.
- How is it possible for the Grammy nominations to get shittier and shittier every single year?
- Be sure to check out the first ever Glamorama Symposium, of which I took a part in. I was a bit drunk (too much Sake and Jager) and don't really remember what I said. Except for that Detroit comment. I meant that. :)
- Ben Affleck says sex with J. Lo has become routine and last about 10 minutes.
- The Modern Age is back. Who new?
Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow Snow
I heart Snow.
Even the words they fail me
Oh look what it's doing to me
I never say what I want to say
It's only a word believe me
If only the world could see me
I promise I'd send the word away
Posted by Kyle in Permalink
beware, yo--she totally asked that people not link to her. keeping buzz minimal and all.
Posted by: foxy jess at December 5, 2003 2:51 PM
Best album of our generation...I'd almost give you that one. But to be the best BAND of our generation means that you have to put out a few records. You actually have to be a band for more than a few years. Such a short-lived entity should never be called a better band than, say, Radiohead.
Posted by: Coolfer at December 5, 2003 7:12 PM
The La's album came out in 1990. How old are you guys (it could be the generation before you)? To confess, I have a little trouble sitting through the entire La's album--there's a little bit of filler.
Posted by: omit at December 6, 2003 12:40 PM
I gotta agree with the above comment. I feel like the La's were the generation before me. When it comes to that generation though, it's The Stone Roses by a long shot. Their first album is killer, Fool's Gold is probably the most innovative single by a rock group in the last twenty years, and they played events like Spike Island that defined a "generation" (even if it wasn't mine).
Posted by: Mike at December 7, 2003 6:34 AM
The Sex Pistols only put out one record.
As for the Stone Roses, I met John Squire while he was on tour with the Seahorses and he was a total prat so that is probably clouding my judgement. You make some good points though.
Posted by: information leafblower at December 7, 2003 10:23 AM
i was holding off on commenting on this flame-bait post till i could find n' re-listen to this record but now that i have...
sorry mr blower but, well, yer nuts :)
i really think that the la's is one of those records that simply doesn't stand the test of time....
'son of a gun', 'there she goes' and 'way out' are damn good lil tracks but the rest of the record is just so very *eh*
and how can a band that didn't even bother to stay around for the completion of thier first record be proposed as "...THE BEST BAND OF OUR GENERATION"
perhaps you should consider that without lillywhite's magic touches you wouldn't have liked (or even heard) their record in the first place
Posted by: redboy at December 7, 2003 2:21 PM
John Leckie was the original producer. I'd much rather hear his version.
Posted by: information leafblower at December 7, 2003 4:42 PM