Friday, April 21, 2006

The best 60s song by an Australian band - What is "Friday on My Mind" by the Easybeats?

Friday on my mind, here's some news...
Have you checked out the new allmusic set up? They've really updated the look of the page, but, best of all, they've added new features. My favorite so far is the chat room style run down of this week's American Idol episode. It seems like everyone -- myself included -- is getting pretty attached to this show. Somehow aspiring blond bombshell and complete idiot Kellie Pickler survived another week, with American Idol voters showing the rest of us a little mercy and voting Ace Young off. He was just a little too much to take, especially when he actually showed us his scar a few weeks back to coincide with a line in the song he was singing.

Slate's Tommy Craggs laments the loss of the upper deck in America's baseball stadiums. I have to add a couple things to what he says, because I strongly agree with him. I used to go to Riverfront Stadium (former home of the Reds) as a kid and I loved the place. Sure, it was a product of 60s-70s functionalism in stadia, where you built large concrete fortresses that could shift quickly to house a concert or a football game. Places like Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Veterans Stadium in Philly, Busch (the old one) in St. Louis. Places that were undeniably unattractive but very much welcoming and inviting. Riverfront has now been replaced by a much nicer stadium whose name currently escapes me. I've been there and I like it, but for whatever reason I long for lime green astro turf, concrete pillars, and a mostly empty upper deck with 5 buck seats. The "intimacy" argument is BS anyway; baseball owners have figured out that most of their home games will not sell more than 30,000 seats anyway. Most MLB teams won't play a home playoff game in the next 5-10 years, so a sellout of 55,000 is pretty much out of the question except on Opening Day or unless a player is chasing a longstanding record. So...why not get the city to build you a new park, where you can raise parking fees, the prices of dogs and beer, and tickets themselves in the name of atmosphere and intimacy? You'll still sell the same number of tickets, but get twice more back for the city's investment in your own wealth.
To sum up...I went to Rome and visited the Colisseum this past summer. That thing is about 2000 years old. Sure it's fallen apart, but you can't tell me that: 1) there's a bad seat in the house and 2) if they can build something that simply lasts that long, we can't stick with the same stadium for 30 years.

New Drive-By Truckers album came out Tuesday, A Blessing and a Curse. I picked it up, and it's quite good, by far their most streamlined album to date. Standout tracks include the opener "Feb. 14", "Goodbye", and "Wednesday", which sounds like the Truckers traded in their Skynyrd for a healthy dose of the 'Mats (finished off with an almost Built to Spill three guitar outro). And on the closer, "World of Hurt", Patterson Hood makes a claim to the throne of rock's most affecting spoken word singer (see his historical rant on "Three Alabama Icons" or the intro to "The Boys from Alabama" for more proof). It lacks the specificity of past albums, and may not have such finely drawn characters, but to me this sounds like a breakthrough, a chance for them to gain a whole new legion of fans, dancing drunk at frat parties everywhere. Long live the Truckers.
Of course, Stylus wasn't as big a fan, and Pitchfork scored it lower than their other albums. My friend pointed out, however, that allmusic's review sounds pretty similar to Pitchfork's, just with differing scores.


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