Nine years ago this week, Eels released Daisies of the Galaxy, a record of which PopMatters’ Fred Kovey said: “The melodies are old and familiar, the rhyme schemes are Mother Goose-simple, but the off-kilter production and lyrics betray the music in a manner that would be ironic if the whole thing weren’t delivered with so much conviction.”
Eels - Flyswatter
Eels - Flyswatter (Live on David Letterman, 2000)
Eels - Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues (Live on Top of the Pops)
There’s some sort of metaphor in this, Tetris set in so huge a playing field that it becomes pointless to play. (Via Kottke.) Formal limitations are generative; unbounded free play, not so much.
This game, for instance, (via Joshuah Bearman) is strangely compelling. It consists entirely of trying to guess geometric centers and align parallel lines. It’s like a training program for membership in some elite band of speculative surveyors. It has built my confidence in hanging pictures correctly, so that they are not crooked. I think eventually I’ll be able to throw away my level altogether.
Lady Gaga dropped by to chat with the women on The View and perform her hit “Just Dance”. Evan Sawdey said of her recent album The Fame: Though Gaga started out in New York’s tough-to-break club scene, her ability to pick out a good hook (along with her ability to spot a good producer) makes The Fame sound like a unified whole—something that’s truly amazing when you account for the fact that five different producers/beatmakers were brought in to craft this disc.
Stephen Lynch is a Tony-nominated actor (for playing Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer in 2006) and a successful stand-up comedian, but he considers himself primarily a musician and songwriter. His latest CD Three Balloons, out March 24 on What Are Records, is as sickly funny as anything you’ll hear at a comedy club.
Let’s let him describe it, okay? He says, ““My last two albums were recorded live in concert, just guitar and voice, and I wanted to do something different this time. Whenever I write or perform a new song, in my head I hear pianos and drums and tubas and string sections and jug bands and children’s choirs. I want you to hear those things too. Except we couldn’t find a children’s choir whose parents would let them sing about drug mules and transsexual prostitutes. Maybe next time.”
The album has songs about waiting for AIDs test results (“Waiting”), untended private hair (“Medieval Bush”) and this really objectionable, really shocking, hee hee, really amusing tune about smuggling dope.
It’s called “3 Balloons”. Enjoy…if that’s the right word for it.