The Powers of Television: What to Expect When the Veteran Art-Punks Play S.F.

Categories: Appreciations

Thinking about Television's upcoming performance at the Independent this Tuesday (Nov. 5), the legendary New York rock quartet's very first Bay Area appearance comes to mind. It's documented on the 1978 album Live at the Old Waldorf, a recording of a night that at the time was just one more stop along Television's headlining tour promoting Adventure, the second and final album in its original incarnation. But Live at the Old Waldorf shows Television reconciling the physicality of punk with the intellectualism of the band's peers in New York, though not without the guidance of jazz. And there's no reason the group can't do the same in 2013.

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Battling Over the Best of Solo Lou Reed, From Berlin to Street Hassle

Obsessed with punk in my early teens, the Velvet Underground's music was gradually administered through something like osmosis. I harbored an ignorant delusion that '60s rock was all gushing hippie idealism, but the tributes from so many punk-era heroes and older friends of mine made the Velvet Underground feel like a group to be revered. When I dove in -- deluxe CD editions of the first four albums in one shopping spree to start -- I found that reverence was too simple. The Velvet Underground & Nico shattered my assumptions about the 60s, White Light/White Heat awoke a love of noise that flung me down a rabbit-hole of NYC avant-garde, and the eponymous third album drew me into Lou Reed's lyrics. The scuzzy romantic befuddled by indulgence, he rendered beauty inseparable from the human stain.

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Ke$ha Is Writing Songs About a "Shit-Filled Ballsack" of an Ex-Boyfriend, and We Can't Wait

Categories: Appreciations

We've been very vocal about our love for Ke$ha before now. Yes, yes, we know: she's a trash bag -- but girl owns it. She has zero filter, and she don't give a damn what you think anyhow. Things have been a tad quiet on the Ke$ha front lately (at least by her crazy-outspoken standards), so we were thrilled to find her mouthing off about her terrible boyfriend choices.

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Kim Deal's Five Finest Musical Moments

Categories: Appreciations

Good God, Kim Deal is spoiling us right now. Between hitting the Fillmore with the Breeders at the end of this month and just releasing a brand new song as part of her series of 7-inch singles, it's all feeling a bit gloriously '90s. The new track, "Are You Mine?" is a dreamy, romantic lullaby with Deal's signature rasp seeped right through it. It prompted us to go back and dig around in the Deal back catalog and get nostalgic. Here, then, are five of Kim Deal's finest moments.

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Remembering Ray Manzarek: Doors Keyboardist Believed Venice Beach Helped the Band Find Its Sound

Ray Manzarek with the Doors, second from right.
Ray Manzarek, the keyboard player for the Doors, was the first rock star I ever interviewed. I'd just started writing about music, and one morning my editor called me up and asked if I'd like to interview Manzarek. I don't know if he knew I was a Doors fanatic, but I jumped at the chance. I went out and bought a cassette recorder and a contact mic with a black suction cup that stuck to the mouthpiece of my landline. Manzarek called me late one afternoon and, after I did a sound check to make sure the recorder was working properly, we started talking.

He spoke at length about music, art, poetry, and the possibility that Jim Morrison had faked his own death to get out of the glare of the spotlight. Manzarek said it would be just the kind of stunt he'd pull. Morrison had only been gone for a few years at the time of the interview, so it seemed possible that, unlike Elvis, he might still be around.

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R.I.P. Slayer's Jeff Hanneman: His Five Fiercest Moments

Slayer's Jeff Hanneman
Sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, and dickheads the world over are in mourning today, for we lost one of the greats. Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and chief songwriter of Slayer, passed on and we adored him. We thought he was a righteous dude.

As metal fans, Slayer is such a part of our everyday lives that it's easy to forget how unique and special it is. For a band that sang so much about Lucifer and Nazi doctors, the members presented themselves as they were: Four goofy dudes from L.A. playing hella fast heavy metal. No pretense. They were guys you wanted to hang with. Just look at the back cover of their landmark 1986 album Reign In Blood, arguably the greatest metal record of all time, and tell us you don't want to drink a beer with those guys. Even to posers and non-hessians, throwing up the horns and yelling "Slayer!" carries much cultural weight. Everyone knows what that means. It means you are ready to fucking rock.

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Thank You, Deftones, For Your Sincere Cover of Kris Kross' "Jump"

Deftones: "Jump! Jump!"
Man, this has been a rough few weeks for musician-related deaths. First there was Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, who passed after battling for five years to recover from a horrific car accident. Then yesterday, Slayer guitarist, Jeff Hanneman, died at the age of 49. And the day before that, the world lost Kriss Kross rapper Chris Kelly, who was found unconscious at his home in Atlanta and died after being rushed to hospital. It's all been terribly bleak, truth be told.

So, jebus bless the remaining Deftones for what they did while performing at the Pageant in St Louis on Wednesday night. Footage has surfaced of them honoring Kelly's memory with a rambunctious full-on metal cover of Kriss Kross' 1992 hit, "Jump." The crowd seems to think it's a joke at first. Then they seem confused by Chino Moreno's sincerity. And then, once the cover kicks in full-throttle, they remember what a stupidly catchy song "Jump" is, and they rock the fuck out. You can see it unfold here:

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R.I.P. Mac Daddy: Kris Kross' Totally Krossed Out Was My Very First Hip-Hop Tape

Fond memories.
Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly, one half-of the '90s hip-hop duo Kris Kross, died of a possible drug overdose in Atlanta yesterday. Kris Kross, you may remember, was the duo responsible for 1992 crossover rap hit "Jump" (not to be confused with House of Pain's "Jump Around"), and for briefly popularizing the practice of wearing one's clothes backwards. It is also the group responsible for getting me to purchase my first rap tape. Or, rather, for getting my parents to purchase it for me, at a time when a working knowledge of "Jump" was basically a prerequisite for social inclusion on the elementary school playground.

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How Richie Havens' Soothing Voice Rescued the Beginning of Woodstock

Richie Havens in 1972.
Richie Havens was an old soul, singing with the voice of an ancient wise man even when he was young. Every artist strives to find their own voice, but it seemed to come naturally to Havens. His deep sandpaper and honey baritone came from some inner place of power and transformation. He was able to make every song he sang his own. Havens gained a national following when he played the Monterey Pop Festival, but it was his performance on the first day of the Woodstock Festival, Friday, August 15, 1969, that made him an international presence.

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Murder City Devils' Spencer Moody: Five Reasons He Fucking Rules

Categories: Appreciations
Spencer Moody and his beard.
Spencer Moody, who played with the Murder City Devils, is playing the Hemlock Tavern this Sunday. And if you care about rock 'n' roll and punk and experimentation and all that is right with music, you will squeeze your ass into that tiny, little, dark room and go watch him. Here are five reasons Spencer Moody fucking rules.

1. Sometimes he's a bit scary -- in a good way

Any Murder City Devils fan on earth will tell you that, on stage, Spencer Moody looks like he's about two drinks away from being the half-naked crazy guy on a corner in the Tenderloin at 2 a.m., loudly delivering a slurred sermon in which everyone on earth gets sent to hell because his heart got broken. Watch this video -- he even does it in the middle of the day, at massive festivals, where no one understands what the hell he's trying to do:

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