Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sean Lennon: The Apple Fell Far From the Tree

Look at that picture of The Boss. See how unhappy he is? Why Boss? Why so unhappy, old buddy old pal?

Warning! Forecast calls for total douchestorm!

Check out these incredibly annoying comments from Sean Lennon. Someone needs to tell this kid that his dad was the one who knew about music, he clearly doesn't know shit. Perhaps that awful howling his mother puts out in the form of records has driven him batshit insane. What an asshole. I'm struggling to remember him actually having done anything with his life. I anticipate that this struggle will continue.

Wilco & Feist Performing 'You & I'

This is awesome, a little preview of some of the new stuff, Wilco and Feist performing their new song 'You & I'. Very much looking forward to the new album coming out this week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Top 100: #99 'Son of Sam' Elliott Smith 2000

'Something’s happening, don’t speak to soon
I told the boss off and made my move
Got no where to go
Son of Sam, son of a shining path, the clouded mind
Couple killer each and every time'

"Figure 8” was a bit of a disappointment compared to the mini-classics (“Either / Or” and “XO”) that preceded it. It was a little hit and miss, a little inconsistent and the songs just weren’t as strong as the ones he was putting out in the 90s, but that’s nitpicking, in’nit? The album’s inconsistency aside, “Son of Sam”, Figure 8’s opening song, misses on exactly zero levels. In fact, it’s a great example of an artist using big label monies to expand his sound, without losing the things that his former lo-fi environment seemed to capture so well. Check it out here, kids.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Top 100: 'Next Exit', Interpol 2004

"We ain't going to the town, we’re going to the city.”

I love the Afghan Whigs’ Black Love nod in the organ that opens this song. These guys were indie rock lightning rods for the early part of the decade, as they seemed to represent everything that was artificial and derivative about the whole NYC / Brooklyn rock scene. Can they sound any more like Joy Division? And yet it’s impossible to ignore that it’s nice to hear that sound again, that early 80s Joy Division sound.

I easily could have included any number of songs from these guys, most all of them from their debut album “Turn on The Bright Lights”: “Say Hello To Angels” might be the biggest Smiths rip off since The Sundays had the shriek of the week with “Here’s Where The Story Ends”, but you know you rock this one with “This Charming Man” in mind, and think, “It’s nice to hear that sound again.” I never realized how much “NYC” owes to R.E.M. until I heard R.E.M. cover it at Madison Square Garden. It’s a good song and one of many that makes me wonder what R.E.M. could have been doing if they didn’t fade into whatever they are now. And, lastly, “Obstacle 1” is in many ways the most quintessential Interpol tune out there. Take your pick.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NEW: Top 100 of the Decade

It’s that time again -- time for yet another LIST. This is a big one, though, one that will inspire many a discussion and many an outrage: It’s She Hate Me’s Top 100 songs of the decade. We know it’s June of 2009 and we do realize that the decade is still only 95% complete. And that’s exactly the point: we will be posting our countdown periodically (when we get to it) as the year counts down. That’s right, in the midst of beautiful summer days spent frolicking on sandy beaches, we will be reminding you that a yule log, 18 degree nights and a dark bar are right around the bend.

First post is TOMORROW. Get your pants on and be ready.


1) No covers, unless those covers are so damn good and so decade-defining that they cannot be ignored. I’m thinking that “I Found a Reason” by Cat Power might be the only one to qualify, but I’ve yet to decide on this. So, in general, there will be no covers.

2) These are not the most culturally relevant songs of the decade, or the decade’s biggest hits, per se. It’s one man’s list of the best songs, songs that define the decade for me. Some songs define it more than other, some songs are just good songs. It’s pretty open here.

3) One song per artist. If an artist has a bunch of great songs that could easily have been included, I’ll give them a shout out and list them in the column.

4) Pay attention to the ranking or don’t pay attention to the rankings, it doesn’t really matter. To some extent, my favorite, decade-defining songs will be in the top 20 or so, but the reality is that all of these songs are good for different reasons. These aren’t sports teams, this isn’t a competition. The Beatles and The Stone are both great and I like both of them for different reasons. So you can haggle with me over the rankings, but don’t expect me top defend myself very much.

5) This is a hard list to compile. I am sure I am going to miss something, but I am also sure that you don’t really care.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cool Phoenix Song & Video

Check this out. I dig montage shit like this, and I'm not sure why. Aside from that, is anyone else even slightly amazed that this no one else ever named their band 'Phoenix'? Especially during the 1980s? This cannot be. There is no way this name was not used previously by some hair rock band from LA. Please investigate.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Live Review: Phish, Jones Beach, Long Island, NY

She Hate Me checks in with a very awesome review of Phish. Enjoy!

Ahhh, Phish in 2009. I love seeing people’s knowing smiles and head shakes when their name pops up. Everyone has a story about Phish, good or bad, even if you never saw a show. It’s safe to say that most music fans aged 25 – 40 years old fall into one of the following categories:

1) “I am taking a week off of work, buying 2 boxes of glow sticks and driving up to the Wappinger’s Falls Big Day Out Fest to see them play from 8pm to 5am. It’s gonna be amaaaaaazing…”

2) “I’ve seen them 30 times and will likely see them 30 more times, as long as I can get home in time to get up for work the next day.”

3) “Those clowns are still around? I didn’t know the market for jaaam bands playing Cartoon Network sing-a-longs was still so strong.”

4) “You have an extra ticket to Phish? Seriously? I’d like to go, but I am seeing John Mayer in New Haven tonight instead.”

5) “I haven’t seen them since 1995, when someone from college dragged me to a show, but I like to drink brews and rock, so wouldn’t mind getting some perspective on what they are up to these days.”

In short, you either loved them or hated them and much of that opinion had to do with the circus that surrounded them – the dirty hippies selling $5 Sierras on Shakedown Street, the Trustafarians following them around while on a semester break from Hobart College, or the college kids looking for a cannabis-friendly scene to identify with.

Strangely, I never loved nor hated these guys and I still don’t, which is why I was happy to sit on the roof of Jones Beach amphitheatre for the new and improved, sober version of Phish, Mach 2. (Side note: Jones Beach’s music venue gets a bit of an undeserved bum rap. Sitting up top as the sun is setting over the ocean, the bay and inlets all in full view, on a June night, is pretty unbeatable. The main missing ingredient? No alcohol allowed inside. I’m not sure how I didn’t follow my own “How to: Smuggle Whiskey”, but I digress.)

What has kept me from loving Phish for all these years is the lyrics, or more specifically, the horrendousness of the lyrics. I know the lyrics in a Phish song are basically just meant to accompany the music and I know some people might say that “Salt Peanuts” isn’t the most mind-bending lyrical masterpiece ever written either. By focusing on the lyrics I am not missing the “point” of a Phish song. I am saying that the lyrics are generally so bad that it is hard to even listen to a recording of many of their songs.

That said, the fact that they have endured this long and been this successful as a live rock band is a testament to how good the actual MUSIC they play is. As with The Grateful Dead, you can’t judge Phish on anything but their live show. Anything else is just a neutered version of what they are all about. And in the live setting Phish is just a really good rock band. What I realized the other night that I don’t think I got in the mid 90s is that Phish is a ROCK BAND that jams out their songs, not the other way around. For me this is a big distinction, because I don’t remember this being the case when I saw them on the Aquarium Tour in 1994. (The other time I saw them was Halloween 1995 in Chicago, when they covered Quadrophenia, which pretty much freakin’ destroyed the Rosemont Horizon).

Strangely, I see Phish as something very similar to Pearl Jam at this point. I know that's a weird comparison, but both of their live shows are basically just very good club rock that is too rocking to NOT be arena rock. Hearing “Reba” is not really the same as hearing Pearl Jam play “Alive” but it does give you the same sense of nostalgia – like, “I remember listening this song on that tape that was stuck in my 1991 Toyota Corolla hatchback”. Or, “I hate that I can’t even walk down the hall of my dorm without hearing that fucking song”. It’s funny to say this, but “Reba” and “Alive” are basically from the same time and place and yet these two bands were on completely opposite ends of the spectrum in 1991. And while I never got caught up in neither the Pearl Jam frat boy scene nor the hippy dippy Phish hysteria of the early 90s, I grew to like and enjoy both of these bands as time went by and my perceptions of the bands and their respective fan bases became more…how you say…tolerable to me.

Everything gets a tag attached to it, but at their core, Pearl Jam and Phish are classic rock bands with modern tweaks. And so both of these groups, after 20 years of constant touring, have kind of met in the middle. Pearl Jam is much more of a “jam band” than anyone would ever have thought, both with the way their fans follow their tours and sing every word to their songs and with the way they stretch out the tunes live. Phish will always be tagged as a “jam band” and it’s easy to dismiss them and their merry crew of Trustafarians, but that would ignore their place as a damn good live rock band.

The show at Jones Beach was excellent, with truly great moments. Any fan of rock n roll will have a hard time denying the awesomeness of Trey’s overuse of the sustain pedal, bending out the solos and hitting his absurd peaks and shredding through the great lights that accompany their jams. I had seen them twice before and there were always parts of the show that, well, put me to sleep. Not last night. I don’t follow this band very much at all, and I know there has been all sorts of drama and crack addictions and stuff, but the break-up seems to have given them some perspective on their sound. It's now just this really tight rock show, all for the better. My advice: buy a Nitrous balloon, gets some whiskey in your head, and see these guys one last time before you settle in to a constructive summer of Hold Steady and Yeah Yeah Yeahs shows.


Set I:

Runaway Jim


Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan*


Cities (Talking Heads)





If I Could

Set II:

Mike’s Song>


Wolfman’s Brother>

Weekapaug Groove

When the Circus Comes (Los Lobos)

Kill Devil Falls*

Harry Hood

Loving Cup (Rolling Stones)


Suzy Greenberg

* Debut

** - w/ Whistling

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Randomly Awesome Song of the Week: Desaparecidos, 'Man and Wife, The Latter (Damaged Goods)'

Despite having a name longer than most of the Pink Floyd songs put out during the '70s and generally featuring the same amount of formless yelling, this song is most definitely ruling. Fronted by our old pal and indie rock poster boy Conor Oberst, Despaparecidos brought the rock in ways that most of the 15 year old misunderstood girls with daddy issues and black fingernails who yelled 'Conor we love you!' at EVERY SINGLE FUCKING SHOW I ever saw of his would find most disturbing. 

'What's this? He's not singing about bowls of fruit and how mommy didn't love him and rebelling against his high school teachers? He doesn't love us anymore!' Get a job, hippie. 

Desaparecidos was a short-lived but very loud and listenable band, and I enjoyed the hell out of the album cover, which probably cost way too much to make given how little everyone else probably enjoyed it. I like this song for two things: the guitar that is like a knife to my headpiece and the wailing, which bears a certain kind of authenticity, as if whoever wrote this might actually have spent some time around a loveless marriage or two. There's a lot of bitterness and yelling and the usual kind of 'go fuck yourself' type of awful sentiment you can't take back, but you always find a way to say when you're really pissed off at someone. 

'I'm a bill you pay, I'm a contract you can't break', that's awesome shit and the whole thing should be required listening at any type of pre-marriage counseling they're always doing in churches (and which I skipped, as I have the confidence of Zeus and I never ask questions).  

Check out the song here, along with video of kids riding skateboards, which is always nice to see (Get a job, hippie). 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Weirdest Album Covers

Been on vacation for a bit, just back. Check this out. 'Back To The Shit' has got to be my favorite.