The Zoey Blog: An Unnecessary Look at This, That, and The Other Thing FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER


Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Unnecessary Look at This, That, and The Other Thing

I know that this blog is largely about Zoey Sakura Bejanger (an homage to my nephew, Reece, and his previous inability to pronounce his own last name, DeWagner) but sometimes I just have to empty my brian on this keyboard and unfortunately, you bare the annoying weight of that mind dump.

Here's the latest...

I ventured into the world of writing about music just once. It involved a certain fairly obscure in some circles, yet beyond amazing publication, called Paste. Throw into the mix The Troubador in West Hollywood, Jason Collett, Shawn Mullin's lame-o publicists, The Vines, and a stellar view of LA from the Hollywood Hills Hotel and you should have the perfect introduction to music journalism...nope. Hated it. It sucked the mustard. It did, however, make me a lifetime fan of the good people at Paste down there in Decatur, GA. After that ill-fated excursion into the unknown I haven't missed an issue...I donated to their Save Paste campaign when the recession was threatening the magazine's longevity, and very existence. I even have a rack in my living room dedicated to the best music magazine on the planet...you know, in my humble opinion.

Anyway...the magazine survived, the living room magazine rack keeps filling up and I regularly find the best new music and re-discover the best old music regularly simply by opening it's pages. The magazine sports some seriously incredible writers, people like Andy Whitman, whom I've come to respect beyond simple articulation, and now my newest favorite...Steve Labate.

In a review of the new White Stripes DVD, Under Great White Northern Lights, he wrote this...

"Whenever Jack and Meg White make music in Under Great White Northern Lights (the new documentary about their 2007 Canadian tour), they're a peppermint swirl of electricity -- the culmination of decades of greasy blues and DIY punk; the American garage writ large. They're the heirs apparent to everyone from Ledbelly to Bill Monroe to John Lee Hooker to the MC5, Led Zeppelin, The Flat Duo Jets, and Nirvana. Moreso than countless slick modern bluesman, newgrass-picking hippie bands and rootsy singer/songwriters pretending the last 40 years never happened, The White Stripes have synthesized the canon of traditional American music into something fresh and relevant."

Uhmm, wow. I think I hate to read more Steve Labate, find the DVD "Under Great Northern Lights," and maybe reconsider this music writing business.

Or maybe not.

On a completely unrelated note. I never paid much attention to Joan Jett before but after several weeks of watching Freaks and Geeks episodes over and over again I've fallen in love with her 1980 single Bad Reputation, it makes me feel seventeen again and makes me realize that although I hope Zoey is a bit of a musichead and very much the Lindsay Weir type, I don't know how I'll manage all that healthy angst. Take it as it comes I guess...after all, I couldn't deny her The White Stripes, and she's already thumbing through Paste. Maybe we'll just loop episodes of Freaks and Geeks on a television in her room while she sleeps? Probably not...we want her to turn out like Lindsay Weir, not Kim Kelly. Maybe we should just send her to the Girl Scouts and hope for the best?

2 Comments:

Blogger John Teeter said...

You know what's funny? I know your feelings about Jason Collett. And I think they come with merit based on what you told me. But oddly enough in every interview I've seen and heard from him since then, has seemed quite the opposite. So I cling to the notion that you caught him on bad night, because he is always very humble, sincere, and completly down to earth.

A Radio 3 friend Vish did a feature on him him in this month's Exclaim! that I really think you should check out. The quote that resonated about me, when he was talking about life in the industry, went something like, "You hear people whining about what a tough life this is. I always wonder if any of them have ever sanded drywall before. Now that's a hard day's job; this is never a hard day's job."

And that is in essence why I love the guy.

That and how he, Zeus and Bahamas played The Bonfire Ball for three of my most memorable musical moment hours last night. Seriously felt like I was witnessing an Indie Last waltz… kept looking for Scorsese.

His latest album Rat A Tat Tat is easily his best yet.

And speaking of Joan Jett… I have a deep seeded appreciation for her music that goes straight back to Jim Helbin and his metal head crush on her. Between her and Benetar you have all that is right about Lady Rawk.

p.s. there's a vinyl reissue of The Runaways coming out very soon!

March 13, 2010 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Brian DeWagner said...

Collett was definately down to earth, and certainly likable. I think he was just putting on a bit of a face for a large US publication, or maybe it was the LA vibe? I dunno. I did like him, I just wasn't really buying what he was selling. He asked me to stick around and hang out with the band etc...and I declined, mostly because June was wandering Sunset while I was working so I didn't want to leave her hanging. I do like Jason, and his music is ridiculously good. Most of our conversation was super stimulating too, it was just a few moments where the clouds drifted in and blocked out the sun...figuratively, of course.

I gotta get me some Rat-a-tat-tat if you say it's his best yet. As for seeing him live...boyo's got some chops, and some serious stage charisma huh?

March 13, 2010 at 8:43 PM  

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