10 Things You Do Not Know about the Musical Group the Daft Punks Because You Are Way Uncool

The cover of the Daft Punks’ first LP, when they were a quartet. They are now a threetet.

The Daft Punks were pioneers of the musical genre.

The Daft Punks are from France but always sing in American.

The Daft Punks were named after a founding member who was the original creative genius behind the band, but who went mental from too taking much acid and wound up dropping out to start a hedge fund: his name was Little Steven Daft Punk.

The Daft Punks only want to blend into the woodwork, which is why they just wish people would stop staring at them in their shiny custom-made robot costumes already.

If the Daft Punks fall in a forest, no one will hear it, but only because it hasn’t been leaked to one of the trendy music blogs yet.

They have a new album out, but you’d never know it, because the Daft Punks live by the axiom, “It’s best to hide your light under a bushel.”

The Daft Punks employ a man whose only job is to lubricate their organs.

In addition to the genre, the Daft Punks invented sliced bread.

When they are not being totally awesome, the Daft Punks lay around being merely fantastic.

The Daft Punks do a killer version of “John Henry,” but will only play it as the fourth encore for an especially cool and deserving audience, which so far has never happened.

 

Debut track: My Rifle, ManChildATX, feat. WingMan

This is a track from my forthcoming ManChildATX Bandcamp download site. It’s taking me longer than I expected to get that together, so I’m sharing it now via SoundCloud. This song, which was co-written with Brant Bingamon in 2010, recounts the fictional adventures of a young American in Afghanistan, and doesn’t refer to any real persons or events. I’m proud of this work and I hope you give it a listen and enjoy it!

Seeding a shitstorm: my guess at Rolling Stone's Top 10 Guitarists

At Wilco’s show last night, Boss Wilco Jeff Tweedy mentioned that Nels Kline, the band’s hotshit guitarist, ranked 82nd on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the Top 100 Rock Guitar Players, just after Lou Reed.

I don’t know if this list has been out for a while or if it’s due to be released soon or what. I have never seen the list and I hadn’t heard about it until last night. But as soon as I knew Rolling Stone compiled a list, I started trying to imagine whom THEY would put on it, and how that would differ from my list. I’m not going to search out their list until after I post this. At some point, I’ll post a follow up to see how well I did.

I’m assuming Rolling Stone’s criteria are some combination of:
  • Fame
  • Success
  • Influence on other guitar players (how much they’ve been ripped off)
  • Respect of other guitar players (how much other guitar players would like to rip them off if they only had the chops)
  • Technical proficiency (how much they are Steve Vai)

I’m also assuming songwriting alone doesn’t enter into their evaluation, and that they didn’t include bassists, so no Beatles in the top 10. I suppose Harrison would have to be in the Top 100 among guitarists, and obviously McCartney would rank at or near the top of a list of top rock bassists.

First, my guess at Rolling Stone’s list:

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Eric Clapton
  • Keith Richards
  • Chuck Berry
  • Jimmy Page
  • Eddie Van Halen
  • Les Paul 
  • Duane Allman
  • Jeff Beck
  • Pete Townsend

Les Paul wasn’t a rock or R&B guitarist, but I’m guessing his technical innovations earned him a spot in their top 10.

Hedging my bets: others who may have been in Rolling Stone’s top 10:
  • Bo Diddley
  • Billy Gibbons
  • Slash
  • SRV
  • Dave Davies

OK, now onto my list. I’m basing mine more heavily on influence, so I’m including more blues and R&B guys.

  • Hendrix
  • Robert Johnson
  • Elmore James
  • Bo Diddley
  • Hubert Sumlin
  • Muddy Waters
  • Chuck Berry
  • Keith Richards
  • Jimmy Page
  • Johnny Ramone

Also thought about including Blind Willie Johnson, Ike Turner and Lightnin’ Hopkins.

Have at it. Tweet me at @richie_boy or comment on Facebook.

Choice Wilco lyrics, as I heard them

Pretty sure this is them! Photo courtesy @MFlentge

Saw the band Wilco last night here in Austin, and, man, did they put on a great show. Guitars! Drums! Those things that look like pianos! They had all of that going on.

But I have to admit, knowing them mostly as a live band, it’s hard to know what that guy is singing about, or what language he’s singing in. Assuming it’s English, I was able to pick up some key lines here and there last night, though I’m still not sure what they mean:

You can see the bear in my style
A weather-borne fancy feast crocodile

You seemed a little glummer
Than you did last summer
Me? A little dumber
Doleful little flummer*

I can praise all of the fried presidents
And speak of the dead all in present tense
But I can’t rise up to your window frame
All of my waffles have gone down in flames

It was my bad permutations
That led to the false formula
It was my frank purple-ations*
That helped chase away your blah

Ripped off the pieces of your satellite
Sent them into orbit tied up to my kite
Willows in the hallway always wearin’ new sleeves
Might be time to check out some new hallway trees

You’re a lanky ocean crashing over shore
I lay on musky dunes gettin’ sand in my shorts

Raise up high the cheeks of your glass
And fling them round the needle-lined path
Together we’ll move around all the glucose
And roll up the ends of our love’s coiled hose

Can you blame me for smelling the dog
Can you blame me for mounting the log

 

*Not 100% sure of this.

National Jukebox proves "race music" saved our country from chronic wussitude

If you’re like me, you have a nostalgic soft spot for recordings of old-timey music. Wellsir, the Library of Congress has a site for us. It’s called the National Jukebox. They offer thousands of searchable, playlistable streams (but no downloads) of early 20th century recordings, some over 100 years old. 

But there’s also nothing past the mid-to-late 1920s. No Louis Armstrong, no Duke Ellington, no Billie Holliday, no Coleman Hawkins. There’s gussied up, tootlin’ brass blues, but no Southern guitar blues. There are white performers tamely aping black styles for rascist comic or novelty effect, and black performers (but not many) trying to sound as white as possible. 

To put it bluntly, the music on the National Jukebox is ultra lame. When black performers started making records for black audiences, whites started buying them, too, and this influenced white artists to try to sound more like authentic black artists, i.e. less lame. After “race music” hit the market, ALL recorded pop music changed for the better. But these records started becoming more prominent in the late ’20s, and that’s where the NJ leaves off. 

If I were a musicologist, I could give you concrete examples of how music changed and what specific elements caused it to change. But just listen to the song below and sample some other tunes on the National Jukebox and you’ll get a sense for it. A lot of what we take for granted as part of virtually all pop music—swinging rhythms and attempts at authentic emotion in particular—just ain’t there.  

Lyrics that may have skewed the sample

Now, after a computer analysis of three decades of hit songs, Dr. DeWall and other psychologists report finding what they were looking for: a statistically significant trend toward narcissism and hostility in popular music. As they hypothesized, the words “I” and “me” appear more frequently along with anger-related words, while there’s been a corresponding decline in “we” and “us” and the expression of positive emotions.

 

I’m gonna kill you, asshole,
I love me,
I’m gonna kill you asshole,
I love me

from Kill You, Love Me by The New Self Esteemers

———-

My skin is lookin’ good,
My hair is lookin’ good,
My teeth are lookin’ good,
My nails are lookin’ good

CHORUS:

I’m so (pretty)
I’m so (beautiful)
I’m so (gorgeous)
I’m so (fabulous)
Damn, I’m good

from (‘Scuse Me While I) Kiss This Guy by Steve Loves Steve

———-

I hold you in low regard
But I think I’m all that
I hold you in low regard
But I think I’m all that
Yeah, yeah, I’m all that
Yeah, yeah, I’m all that
Yeah, yeah, I’m all that
And you suck

from Yeah, I think I’m All That by Sir Obviously

———-

Bitch, I’m gonna mess you up
Tear off your face
Dry it and use it for an ashtray

from Try a Little Tenderizer by Sandy Aggro

The Man can't bust our music. Oh, wait.

Turns out the man CAN bust our music.
Here is some of the Man who busted our music tonight:
Hey, just a suggestion here, but if you don’t dig live music, don’t move to the fucking epicenter of the live music capital of the fucking world, mmkay?
Had a little gig tonight at Opal Divine’s downtown with the Savage Trip. (Don’t google us—we’re too cool for that shit.) 
Playing on the outdoor stagelet in the blissful sub-triple-digit degree evening. First set, everything’s going great, having a great time, nice and loose but controlled little set.
Then I guess I notice after we finish “Captain, Captain” (really transcendent, I thought) there were these cops having a conclave on the sidewalk in front of the club. Two car cops and two bike cops in all, eventually. Would that be a phalanx?
And I think nothing of it, because it’s Thursday night, there’s clubs hopping nearby and, you know, they are there to keep the assholes in line.
But it turned out the assholes was us. 
There was a noise complaint, supposedly. The only residences that could possibly be in earshot are two condo buildings—one a block away, the other a bit further. 
And as it turned out, the cops never bothered to measure our sound level, because the club could’t produce the little slip of paper from the CoA that said they were a live music establishment. They HAVE the little slip of paper somewhere, but they couldn’t find it. So it was moot—it didn’t even matter if we were over the decibel limit. 
I mean, this place has been there for, what, twelve years? And they’ve always had a little bit of live music. Hell, they do SXSW there every year. Everyone knows this, yet because there’s not a slip of paper to validate it, it doesn’t matter.  
BTW, if you have your slip of paper, your decibel limit can’t exceed an average of 85 decibels when measured over a minute from the sidewalk—I asked the cops. They were cool, not being jerks, just doing their jobs, and the club got a warning not a fine. 
But I mean, come on. I was playing drums against a cinder block wall that was between me and those buildings. And this is not a band that tries to be loud. Far from it. I use little bitty 7A drumsticks, for God sakes. 
Unbelievable.
Oh, and this is Spot. He was the soundman tonight. Just your average legendary record producer, running sound at Opal’s on Thursday night in the Live Music Capital of the World®, where they’ve never made playing live music very easy.