Waking Ear

We have a pact, you and I. I write down what song I had in my head when I woke up in the morning. And, maybe, why. You click on "What's in your waking ear?" and tell me what's in your head right now. We discover new music and maybe learn something about how our minds work. Yeah?

Monday, November 29, 2004



The New York Observer's Hillary Frey ponders the Fork's position as music's trendiest tastemaker, and the cast of ILM, once the site's nastiest collective critic, seems pretty pleased. What's next? A Fluxblog paean to Clear Channel?

By the way, Frey's dead-on about the Pitchfork Effect on concert attendance, and it's not limited to Williamsburg. At the Vietnam/Death From Above 1979/Panthers show a couple of weeks ago here in Dallas, almost all of the crowd disappeared after DFA1979's set, leaving the former-'Fork-darling Panthers with an audience of about a dozen people.

Having never thought Pitchfork's praise for Panthers was deserved, this didn't bother me too much. But having seen bands I like, such as the French Kicks, get the bad end of a 'Fork review, I can honestly say it sucks when one critical voice has all the power. I don't know that it's ever been any other way; somebody's got to be the standard-bearer. But I know I turn to Metacritic and a few other places in addition to Pitchfork because Schreiber & Co. do sometimes get it wrong.

That said, I credit Pitchfork with turning me on to many bands -- Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, etc. -- I might have otherwise missed completely or at least have been delayed in discovering. As long as the site keeps its commitment to discovering good new music -- and it looks like Schreiber has his heart in the right place -- I'll keep checking it daily. (Critics, including der Schmubb, have pointed out that the writing on Pitchfork is often terribly overwrought, and I agree. But Schmubb has trained himself to just hone in on the third or fourth paragraphs of each review to get the gist, and he's right, it works.)

While the 'Fork is setting goals for itself, might I suggest one more? Staff diversification -- specifically, more women (I don't know the racial breakdown, but it's probably worth looking at, too). I believe there's only one female staff writer right now, and I know music-geekery is theoretically still a male thing. But a better array of perspectives could help.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004



I was parking my car in a tight parallel spot last night in Deep Ellum, and a guy who I presumed to be homeless ran over to help me negotiate the space. He asked me to help him out when I got out of the car, saying he would like to purchase a bottle of Thunderbird. I'm not one of those people who thinks it's cool when homeless people are honest and say they want money to buy a drink, because when you're homeless and the only thing you want to spend money on is alcohol you're probably an alcoholic, and that's not fun. But I gave him enough for his Thunderbird anyway. I hope he stayed warm last night.

Earlier in the day, on my way to the gym, another guy who I presumed to be homeless asked me to help him out. I didn't have any change and told him so. "Man, that's what you told me yesterday," he pouted. "Damn!" I found this kind of impressive.

Remember these guys this weekend when you're burping turkey.

You know that feeling you get when you laugh so much that the adrenalin starts kicking in? Laughing with a kind of abandon, a loss of control. I seem to experience that more with Girlfriend than with any other person I've ever met. And it's the No. 1 thing I'm thankful for. The rest of the list:

2) My family's nice habit of practicing unconditional love.
3) My roommate's undying quest to cook the perfect dessert.
4) Seeing one of my best friends gaze at the love of his life when she's not looking.
5) Those nights when Chelle needs a drink and knows I'm available.
6) Coffee.
7) The fucking Internet.
8) My iPod.
9) Amare Stoudemire.
10) The feeling of superiority that comes with kicking Will Shortz's ass.

Friday, November 19, 2004



Neal Pollack says it best, but I'll add my part: BEAT LA! It's so much more fun being a (potential) playoff team.

Thursday, November 18, 2004




Or this?

RJD2 has pushed back his show at Hailey's until 12/8, which means I can go! But the Scissor Sisters are the same night. I'm leaning toward the DJ because I like his records more, but those Scissor Sisters seem like they put on quite a show. Anybody seen either? Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004



There are only about four times a year that I root against the Dallas Mavericks (excluding the rare chance that they play a certain team in the postseason). Tonight was one of those times. And my Sunnies tore it up, even if they did get a little help from injuries to Erick Dampier and Jason Terry and from Dirk Nowitzki's foul trouble.

Bold prediction: Amare Stoudemire will one day be league MVP. Now if the Suns can just clear up some room so they can get Yuta Tabuse, the most adorable NBA player since Muggsy Bogues, off the injured list.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004



NORE feat. Nina Sky, etc./"Oye Mi Canto" -- OK, I understand that it's mostly in Spanish and stuff, but I can't figure out why this isn't a No. 1 hit all over the country. It's got the same pop-ized reggaeton kind of beat and a way catchier chorus than Nina Sky's "Move Your Body." And all the rappers sound really cool.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004



First XPO Lounge loses its lease, then Jimmy's Food Store burns to the ground, and now Z Cafe has apparently closed. Everything in Dallas is dying.

But I guess Z had it comin'. I think Schmubb hated them for some reason.

Monday, November 08, 2004



The dates for next year's ACL Festival have been set -- Sept. 23-25. Never too early to start planning.



I'm thinking Ridglea Theater was exaggerating a little on the exciting shows they had planned for end of November. Or maybe they failed to book the act they were trying to get. The three dates are no longer blocked out, and something called American Overkill is playing on the 27th. Blah.

Sunday, November 07, 2004



From the all-black-slutty-rappers-look-the-same department: check out the correction at the end of this one.

Thursday, November 04, 2004



Our spies are reporting that, after their Dallas show, Interpol stayed out really late, missed the bus and had to hitch a ride with the Secret Machines down to Austin. Oh, and at least one of them appears to have cheated on his significant other.

So standard rock star stuff.

I'm not very good at gossip.



Guns 'n' Roses/"Civil War" -- In this year in which I've seen the Pixies thrice, this Waking Ear made me think about the biggest acts I've missed in my lifetime that, if I could go back in time, I would've made an effort to see. The top five:

1) Nirvana. Duh.
2) Journey w/Steve Perry. Because that voice will never occur again on earth.
3) GNR! Hot pants! w/Axl and Slash and the whole crew, of course.
4) Elliott Smith. I actually had a ticket once and didn't go for stupid reasons. Regret.
5) Jeff Buckley. Who probably could've handled a Journey cover.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004



Interpol/"Not Even Jail" -- Don't throw things at people. It's not very nice, and sometimes when you do it, people aren't nice to you back, and they skip the second encore they were going to do for you because you threw something at them. I can't really blame them. So stop it. Unless the people you're throwing things at are like the Sex Pistols or something. But that's a different kind of thing.


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