Don’t call it that

I hate “The O.C.” I make no attempt to claim otherwise, and at the urgings of several friends of mine have repeatedly tried to give the show second chances. I just absolutely detest every aspect of that program, and would quite frankly rather watch “Days Of Our Lives,” because at least that show makes no effort to hide that it’s a soap opera.

But what I hate most about “The O.C.” is the effect it has on music. I love that it provided an outlet for good bands to gain some exposure, pick up some popularity, finally make some real money. But I hate that as soon as a band appeared on “The O.C.,” everyone loved them, even if they didn’t know anything about them. I went to go see Death Cab For Cutie open for the Psychedelic Furs. The place was packed for Death Cab, but because all the little O.C. kids didn’t know a damn thing about the band they were there to see, it was an utterly unpleasant experience. In fact, several people assumed that Death Cab would be headlining the show, and when they went on before the actual headliner (the Furs), I heard people asking why the band was opening with a Death Cab cover. I heard other people asking when Death Cab was going to go on, because that band sucks.

“That band” was Death Cab, and they were opening the show with “The New Year,” the first song from their “Transatlanticism” album, which was the album featured on “The O.C.”

I’m not saying people should memorize all the details of a band’s repertoire before seeing that band live. But if all you’re going on is the music that was featured on a TV show, at least buy the album and have a vague idea of what (if no one else) the singer looks like before you go to the show.

The other thing I hate, beyond tons of bands being endowed with ignorant, obnoxious fans, is the conception by people like me–who hate “The O.C.”–is that a band, once featured on the program, is somehow ruined. The Shins, Rooney, Ben Gibbard projects, Frou Frou/Imogen Heap, I still listen to them. Even Phantom Planet, who had the fucking theme song, find themselves in frequent rotation on my iTunes. The music they make was made before they were on the show, and you’re allowed to like bands who have been on a TV show you hate, and you’re allowed to hate bands who have been on a TV show you like.

This is more or less an incoherent rant written on a 7:1 waking to sleeping ratio, and I suppose the bottom line is, I’m really glad “The O.C.” is no more, and I’m really, phenomenally impressed with the new Phantom Planet record. I know I took my sweet time getting here. But that’s really all I wanted to say.

What I’ve Been Spinning… 4/24/08

My Morning Jacket – Highly Suspicious – The most warped, twisted, Prince-aping funk jam off of Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket. Jim James sings in an impossibly high falsetto, and you think that during psycho-giggling pre solo, some P.Y.T. may be playing with that scruffy beard of his.

Billy Bragg – A New England – At this point in time, I’ve only heard about a dozen Billy Bragg songs. I can safely say I like all of them. This one, however, is particularly poignant: “I was twenty one years when I wrote this song/I’m twenty two now, but I wont be for long/People ask when will you grow up to be a man..”..Yeah.

Tom Waits – Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis – Everyone says it, mainly because it’s true. You can’t really go wrong with Tom Waits, and this one – a plaintive piano ballad is a good choice for today.

What I’ve Been Spinning…4/15/08

Born Ruffians – I Need A Life – Got some good old fashioned pop goodness here. This record was a recent recommendation from a friend and it’s a fun listen. Nothing too intense.

The Replacements – Answering Machine – I’ve been giving the ‘Mats Let It Bealbum several spins lately. Fantastic ballad. The album this song’s off of and 1986’s Tim are essential listening.

Stevie Nicks – Stand Back – This is the monster single off of 1983’s The Wild Heart. It’s full of throbbing synths and a total ping pong 80’s bass line. Doesn’t get much better than this..Oh, and it’s really tacky.

Yeasayer are like…wow!

Yes, I know… REAL late to the game on this one. Sorry I wasn’t up to the minute on my SXSW coverage…

Saw this on my friend Katie’s Facebook page and thought it was something to take a look at.

The band is called Yeasayer. They’re from Brooklyn, and they’re unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. I mean, the best way to put this (and I’ve seen them compared to this in other reviews) is that they sorta sound like the Talking Heads.. except a bit more grandiose. Check out their Myspace or website and then watch the following videos of the band on a Subway in Paris. Tremendous stuff.,3966

They’re playing Logan Square Auditorium on April 16. I think I’m going. Any interested parties?