Replacements At A Turning Point

Here’s a great 32-year-old article from SPIN’s archives, from around the time that I was getting into them. (Yes, I was late to the party and had to work my way back through the Twin/Tone albums.) The band had just parted ways with manager Pete Jesperson, fired lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and released one of their best albums, Pleased To Meet Me. Recorded right here in Memphis!

“When we started,” [Westerberg] says, pausing to sip from a midmorning Schmidt, “we definitely had a fear of success. We had a fear of everything. We were all very paranoid, and I think that goes hand in hand with the excessive drinking thing. We’d get drunk because we were basically scared shitless, and that snowballed into image. Now we’re a little more assured of what we’re doing. We’re not positive which way we’re going, but we think we know what mistakes lie ahead, and we’re trying to sidestep ‘em.”

Full article here.

Good News For Droogie

In a short musical film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Thom Yorke of Radiohead scores and stars in a mind-bending visual piece.

Best played loud.

Album available for digital download ($11! Cheap!) June 27, film available on Netflix … June 27!

ANIMA:

01 Traffic
02 Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)
03 Twist
04 Dawn Chorus
05 I Am a Very Rude Person
06 Not the News
07 The Axe
08 Impossible Knots
09 Runwayaway

Ill Communication Is 25

This is worth a look.

‘Still Ill: 25 Years of the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication’ features Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz diving deep into the making of the band’s epic 1994 album – and, arguably, one of their high points as artists and generational touchstones. The 15-minute documentary tracks the Beastie Boys’ rejuvenation in the years after the release of 1989’s Paul’s Boutique – now considered a masterpiece but at the time a commercial flop – first with 1992’s Check Your Head and ultimately with Ill Communication, which produced the epic single and music video “Sabotage” and returned them to playing arenas.

Featuring interviews with Diamond and Horovitz from this March in Austin, Texas — as well as new interviews with keyboardist Mark “Money Mark” Nishita and producer Mario Caldato and rarely-seen 1990s footage of the band – Still Ill focuses heavily on late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch and his contributions to Ill Communication. Through footage and the words of his friends, the documentary captures Yauch’s journey into activism, which would blossom with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts later in the decade, as well as his famous denunciation of misogyny in hip-hop on the single “Sure Shot”: “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end.”

This Might Be The Best Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Specifically for any bastards who read Conan the Barbarian books and comics, or maybe came of age around the time Heavy Metal was released.

Korgoth of Barbaria is a pilot episode for what was originally planned as an American animated television series created by Aaron Springer, a storyboard artist, writer and director for Dexter’s Laboratory, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Samurai Jack, and SpongeBob SquarePants … Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, directed the animation for the pilot, and was not the only time he’s worked on a pilot created by Springer, as Tartakovsky also produced and directed Periwinkle Around the World.

It was first aired in the United States on June 3, 2006, at 12:30 AM (EST) on Adult Swim. On June 18, 2006, Adult Swim ran a bumper announcing that Korgoth of Barbaria was officially picked up as a series, because of its critical and commercial success with garnering high ratings. Later events, including a formal petition to revive the show and an Adult Swim bumper announcement mentioning its cancellation, indicate that it was dropped before production began due to high production costs.

Well Are You?

I had this poster when I was a kid, only recently discovering that it was created by Tom Shadyac, the director who now lives in Memphis. We ran into him at [REDACTED] when we were buying tile for our bathroom remodel. Small fucking world.

Remember the poster Are You A Preppie? It was printed in 1979 by University of Virginia undergrad Tom Shadyac, who went on to film school at UCLA and later directed Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Evan Almighty. The poster was wildly popular when it came out. I have to wonder whether it might have inspired Lisa Birnbach’s more in-depth anthropological treatment in The Official Preppy Handbook, which appeared one year later.

You Look Like

Memphis, y’all! More importantly, the P&H!

You Look Like is a roasting competition between four comedians. They go head-to-head in two rounds of insults which must all start with “You look like…” The winning comic takes home the You Look Like crown and the losers must face the Mirror of Shame. Who will win this week’s roast battle?

UPDATED: What the hell, here’s another one. The second round is a keeper.

Fest 18

The first batch of Fest 18 (that’s the number, not the year) bands has been announced and it’s a doozey. Jawbreaker is headlining, which blows my mind, but the rest of the line-up looks pretty great as well (Mariachi El Bronx, Dag Nasty, Lee Bains III, etc. etc.). Almost makes living in Pigville worthwhile. Almost.

More at thefestfl.com

Bring On The Alcarelle

David Nutt, psychiatrist and director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit at Imperial College London, has been working on a safe alternative to booze since he discovered an alcohol antidote as a PhD student in 1983. From an article in The Guardian, here’s the cool science-nerd part …

What Nutt now knows is that there are 15 different Gaba receptor subtypes in multiple brain regions, “and alcohol is very promiscuous. It will bind to them all.” Without giving away his trade secrets, he says he has found which Gaba and other receptors can be stimulated to induce tipsiness without adverse effects. “We know where in the brain alcohol has its ‘good’ effects and ‘bad’ effects, and what particular receptors mediate that – Gaba, glutamate and other ones, such as serotonin and dopamine. The effects of alcohol are complicated but … you can target the parts of the brain you want to target.”

Handily, you can modify the way in which a molecule binds to a receptor to produce different effects. You can design a peak effect into it, so no matter how much Alcarelle you consume, you won’t get hammered. This is well-established science; in fact Nutt says a number of medicines, such as the smoking cessation drug varenicline (marketed as Champix), use a similar shut-off effect. You can create other effects, too, while still avoiding inebriation, so you could choose between a party drink or a business-lunch beverage.

Ultimately, the aim isn’t for Alcarelle to become a drinks company, but to supply companies in the drinks industry with the active ingredient, so that they can make and market their own products. You would expect that the alcohol industry would view Alcarelle as its nemesis, but Orren says that industry players “are approaching us as potential investing collaborators”. This doesn’t surprise Jonny Forsyth, a global drinks analyst at Mintel. “The industry is increasingly investing in alcohol alternatives,” he says. “We have seen a lot of investment in cannabis … They’re looking at nonalcoholic gins and soft drinks because they know people are drinking less [alcohol], and this is a trend that is going to carry on. If the science is right, and if it’s easy to mask the taste, I think it’s got a great chance.”

Full article here.