Pop culture essays, criticism, fistfights

Clef Notes: The Life Goes On Edition

Every Friday, or at least until his spectacular rock star flameout, Giovanny will be dropping a week’s worth of music knowledge on you with Clef Notes, proof positive that he’s a one man music magazine.


Who bought my Sandman tarot cards on ebay?

Since my release from prison following the whole “drugging you in a basement, and forcing you to endure a fictional award show” incident, I’ve had a rough time adjusting to the fact that the world didn’t end a month ago. I sold all of my possessions to properly fuel my insanity (I’m actually writing this Clef Notes from a UPS store), learned to speak Mayan (because I assumed they would be hosting the afterlife party), dug-out and built a bunker using my own bare hands (anyway I used them to call the contractors who actually did all the work), and acquired all of the appropriate sacrifices I planned on using to appease the God of Thunder (no, not Thor, the bird shaped one). And now we are here, on January 18th 2013, and I feel like an idiot. An idiot in possession of far too many goats... and virgins.

So, like a nation in the wake of a disaster, the only option I now have left is to rebuild. Of course it won’t be easy to replace my rare (stolen) Derek Jeter memorabilia, endless volumes of Radiohead fan-fiction (which were burned, not sold. No one would buy such a thing), and a complete collection of '90s Vertigo comics. Thus, I’ve decided to offer up some predictions for 2013, because I’m still very busy in my recovery phase and, also, I did a similar thing for the first official Clef Notes of 2012 (can somebody say tradition?).

1) Destiny’s Child will reunite at this year’s Super Bowl. Millions of people will be immeasurably excited by this, but none more so than Kelly Rowland and whatever the other girl’s name is.

2) Kim Kardashian and Kanye’s baby will take its first breath and immediately start a Twitter feud with Blue Ivy Carter. Needless to say, we will all be riveted.

3) John Mayer and Katy Perry will have a scandalous, and obscenely dramatic, breakup. At least I hope they will.

4) During the record release party for Lady Gaga’s Artpop, the singer will unveil her latest fashion creation, which will subsequently kill most of those attending in an absurd Dethklok-like fashion.

5) Rihanna will show us the devious nature of her recent machinations as we find out she tricked Chris Brown into reconciling in order to lull him into complacency, and then do him Hard Candy style.

6) Adele will return to the music scene, open her mouth and, with the utterance of a single note, save the music industry once again.

7) Taylor Swift will start dating Justin Bieber. This relationship will result in far more trouble than it’s worth for Bieber, and a double-album for Swift in 2014.

8) Drake will continue to be awesome, and to do no wrong. He will also try to sue a lot of people over the whole YOLO thing.

9) Nicki Minaj will ruin Mariah Carey’s marriage just for kicks, and the person who’ll suffer most will actually be Nick Cannon.

10) Once their absence can be fully appreciated, everyone will realize they don’t miss LMFAO. Like, not even a little bit.

11) Coldplay will irritate me beyond belief, but I will somehow let them slide. I will then realize I am growing soft in my old age, and send out for those testosterone pills which keep being marketed to me on ESPN.

12) Inspired by Snoop Dogg’s transformation into Snoop Lion, Lil Wayne will change his persona as well, and be forever known as Batman Bin Suparman.

13) Madonna will finally stop her obnoxious touring and publicity cycle before subsequently retreating to her Lazarus pit (that’s back to back Batman references. Did I mention I sold a lot of Batmans, too?).

14) Once Chris Brown finishes convalescing from the aforementioned torturing at the hands of Rihanna, he will engage in a dance contest with Usher at a Miami nightclub. The contest will go on for 9 consecutive days, and in the end the only winner will be dance. (I bet you were waiting for me to turn that prediction against Brown somehow... um, okay... How about: when it’s all over he gets grifted by the valet, and has his identity stolen in one of those really thorough ways, leaving him destitute.)

15) Kevin Shields will FINALLY release the follow up to Loveless, and I will experience the feeling known as “happiness” for the first time. For the record, I feel least confident about this prediction.

16) The new Yeah Yeah Yeah’s record will be everything I want it to be (fingers crossed!).

17) Kanye West will be the most obnoxious father of all-time, and I will love every minute of it.

18) Animal Collective will discover a frequency which, when amplified, will (to paraphrase the kids of today) get their audiences higher than giraffe genitalia.

19) The lunatics on the Internet will be proven right, and we will find out that Skrillex, Burial, and Aphex Twin are all actually models which Brian Eno pays to release his music.

20) A reunited Blur will play Spain’s Primavera Sound, and I will be forced to go to Barcelona for the 4th year in a row... Woe is me.


Leaving - Skrillex

Skrillex's latest EP didn’t convert me, and I bet it will have the same lack of effect on you.I can safely say this isn’t Skrillex’s best effort, but he did put his name on it and chose to release it... [Full Review]

16th Notes:

Somewhere MIA is busy trying to figure out how to make her new album less positive.

The National have recently announced a June show at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. I personally had no idea they could sell-out a venue of that size... A Bill Ward-less (BOOOOO!!!) Black Sabbath is all set to release their first album with Ozzy Osbourne on vocals in over 30 years. This is the kind of pension scheme record which I usually have no problem lambasting, but it was produced by Rick Rubin, so all bets are off... Skrillex accidentally set  some of his hair on fire while blowing out the candles of his birthday cake. I would like to point out that his hair turned out to be fine in the end, but that didn’t stop the web from losing its collective mind, and hosting numerous vigils... There is a rumor out there that the Strokes have a new song ready, and will be releasing it very soon. If that excites you then you must have no idea what year it is... Spiritualized (or, as my Scottish peeps enjoy pronouncing the word, Spirit-you-el-ized) have announced a string of North American tour dates, including Coachella. I’m not committing to suffering at Coachella until the Rolling Stones confirm their appearance... MIA’s hotly anticipated record, Matangi, has been delayed yet again, this time because Interscope complained the record is too positive. I’m as confused by this news as you are. Is there another MIA out there, dropping records I'm not aware of?... Brooklyn’s The Men have shared details regarding their followup to last year’s fantastic Open Your Heart, due out this year. The details even come complete with a new single, which I danced to quite a bit last year, because I’m ahead of the curve like that... In other new single/album news, Pissed Jeans have shared a second track from their soon to be released record Honeys. The latest track, Cathouse, may not be as killer as Bathroom Laughter, but it still contains enough attitude and assault to be worthwhile... A Russian court denied the plea of Maria Alyokhina (of Pussy Riot), who recently petitioned to have her completely unreasonable prison sentence for religious hooliganism postponed so she could care for her two year old son. It’s good to know that nothing ever changes in Russia...

Top Ten List:

Dave Grohl has had one of the most intriguing careers in the history of Rock N’ Roll. As a teenager in the 1980s, Grohl played drums in a variety of D.C.-area hardcore bands, forging a reputation as one of the underground’s loudest and most aggressive drummers. From there he sat behind the kit for a little-known 90s Grunge outfit by the name of Nirvana who, from what I gather, must have sold a few records, and earned some modicum of notoriety. After the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Grohl receded from the limelight for a brief (very brief) span, and in that time recorded demos for songs which would make up the first Foo Fighters record. Well, The Foo Fighters have since sold more records than Nirvana, and Dave Grohl is a close personal friend of Paul McCartney... I believe the word you are looking for is: Wow. Monday was Dave Grohl’s birthday, and here is a list of the ten best songs he has written. Also, Everlong is the fucking jam.

10) Up In Arms
9) Times Like These
8) Big Me
7) Walk
6) Monkey Wrench
5) The Pretender
4) Best Of You
3) My Hero
2) This Is A Call
1) Everlong

Clip Of The Week:

It probably goes without saying that I am stoked about the upcoming Yeah Yeah Yeahs record, Mosquito, but I’m SUPER STOKED about the upcoming Yeah Yeah Yeahs record, Mosquito!!! Not only is there an official release date (April 16th), but the band has also revealed some insane album art, and Karen O is busy showing off a new blonde hair cut (I guess it’s okay but, like everyone else, I hate change). What’s most exciting about the band’s slow roll-out leading to their fourth studio album are the recent Youtube clips of new material, which surfaced shortly after some warm-up shows in Pomona California which took place last week. Below are two clips for songs which are reportedly titled Mosquito/We Suck Young Blood and Earth. The clips feature many of the nuances of the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs, including (gasp) a bassist?!?

Tracks Of The Week:

I know other people have made statements like this before, but the Internet really is magical. Please, allow me to explain my latest hyperbolic episode.

Thom Yorke (you may have heard of him) is on the cover of Dazed & Confused as we speak. The magazine is running a feature promoting his super group's (not Radiohead, Atoms For Peace) latest record, Amok. As a treat for those who read Dazed & Confused, Yorke and Nigel Godrich put together a 25-minute mix comprised of remixes of Atoms For Peace tracks, Thom Yorke solo tracks, and Radiohead tracks. The mix is featured as a Soundcloud widget on the magazine’s site, but that does little good for you faithful readers of Culture Blues who want to hear it right now. Enter Youtube user JustRadioheadUK, who managed to rip the audio and made his own little Youtube clip so the masses could enjoy it... and so I could embed it here at the bottom of this week’s Clef Notes! Thank you internet, thank you JustRadioheadUK, and thank you Thom Yorke’s parents for getting busy nine months before October 7th 1968.

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