In which Beeso and the Doc discuss the BS Report Report, confusion and delay, Welcome to Tairns, America is fukt, flagging interest, forgetting your Bad Dreems, harnessing rawness, fuck boomers, inside baseball, aggressive doo-wop, Munt Chucks, string theory, hip-hop: it's really difficult and let us tell you why at great length, mattress fetishists, the Roar and the cooked, S&M was NFG, shopping by label, Josh Freese finds yet another LA rock band to drum for, and another edition of our award-winning segment Keys To Understanding Kendrick.
In this week's ep we review new Frights, restrung Hilltops and '07-vintage Vasco Era. Next week: Wolfmother, Yuck and Portishead live in NYC. As always, this and next week's selections are on the BALLS Spotify playlist.- by Dr Yobbo
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In which Beeso and Dr Yobbo (still whinging about his manflu) talk Beesoap, pleasurable drives, playing to the crowd, the blame game, peak cock, Very L.A., the Doc can't remember which RHCP album he's talking about, pornographic basslines, skipping practice, Adam is wrong (although he's right about this), headphone lust, Also Very L.A., all that you'd pay good money to leave behind, the Simpsons vs King Wally, Kanye vs Molly vs Lexapro, competitive drug abuse, and getting it right in the orchestras. Album reviews this week were the Jezebels' Synthia, Buckcherry's unironically titled latest Rock 'N' Roll and RHCP's 1991 classic Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Next week we get the Frights, troll boomers from the Hilltops with an orchestra, and crank a recent Australian classic by The Vasco Era. As always, this week and next's tunes are on the BALLS Spotify playlist. by Dr Yobbo
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Posted November 22, 2015
into Music by John Birmingham
How can you not love this awesome SciFi album art? Are you some sort of monster?
Until I stumbled across this Rolling Stone review of ELO’s recent reunion gig in New York I’d forgotten how much I loved that band in my teens. A tweeted link to Stone's story and declaration of intent to spend the afternoon streaming the band'sbacklist brought an immediate reaction from Silent Rob who opined, "Nooooo." But he was outvoted, the entire middle-aged internet to one. (Beeso and the Doc did not attend the polling booth.)
Stone's reviewer was apparently an old fan too.
Higher and higher, baby. Now this was a momentous occasion: Jeff Lynne's ELO playing their first real American show in 30 years, an intimate gig at New York's tiny Irving Plaza that sold out within seconds. Some of us had waited years for this night — probably including Jeff Lynne, who looked touchingly shy in the presence of a live crowd. Electric Light Orchestra songs tend to be so eerie and isolated — it's strange to stand in a room full of your fellow fans singing along to songs as profoundly lonesome as "Telephone Line" or "Turn to Stone." (There was hardly an audience member not singing along.) But it was a night to celebrate, dance and bust out the air-cello moves.
Air Cello FTFW!
I had three or four big ol’ vinyl platters of Jeff Lynne’s high concept pop art orchestral rock and I spun them up every chance I had. Later, I fed the maw of one greedy tape player after another with cassettes of the same albums – at least until I had access to a 3-in-1 player-recorder and could make my own copies to feed the instiable appetite of those tape-eating analogue fiends.
Remember when blank cassettes were going to destroy the music industry and all of western civilisation with it? Yeah, good times.
Anyway, I’m playing A New World Record as I type this, and it’s weird – I don’t recognise all of the songs. I’m not sure if bonus tracks have snuck on, or whether I just fast forwarded through the unfamiliar songs thirty years ago. That was some grandmaster Kung Fu everyone had to learn before the arrival of the CD-Walkman and the dark magic of track skipping.
(A little off topic but I can’t think of a more telling precursor of what was coming with the digital disintegration and atomisation of popular music than the way we all jumped on the Walkman’s track skipping like a Labrador on a T-Bone. I remain a big fan of playing whole albums, but how many albums were actually worth playing in their entirety? Not many, I’d hazard.)
I’ve mostly been playing ELO’s backlist as background today, while I worked, but later on I might put on some headphones and really crank up the 70s. It's a lucky thing parenthood cured me of my doobie smokin' ways because otherwise I'd totes be firing up a choice fatty to properly unpack Discovery.
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Posted November 17, 2015
into Music by John Birmingham
Rdio are bankrupt. Pandora, the streaming radio service have bought up some of their IP, equipment and talent, but the service itself is dead. This makes me sad. I kept my Rdio subscription going ($30 a month, four family members) even after AppleMusic arrived and I subscribed to that.
Rdio was a much simpler service than AppleMusic, and much more reliable and elegant for it. I still get weird drop outs on Apple, and the machine learning isn't very bright. I don't how many times I've told Tim and Eddie that I don't want to listen to Rhiana – but they still keep serving her up to me.
Of course Rdio didn't have a coupla hundred billion in cash hidden under the mattress in Ireland and competition in the streaming market gets tougher every day. It will probably shake out to a couple of behemoths – Apple, Google, Amazon – and a graveyard full of dead competitors. I don't know that the giants will even make money on their services. They might just run them as loss leaders.
I will miss the simplicity and reliability of Rdio though. It just worked.