Friday, April 29, 2005

Why A Garter Toss?

Recently a client asked about the origins of the garter toss.

I did some research and found some interesting myths. There are many legends surrounding the birth and meaning of this ancient wedding formality.

One story has it that in the 14th century, it was customary for the Bride to toss her garter to the men. But sometimes the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to take the garter off her ahead of time. Eventually the Groom got into the act and saved his bride from the unruly mob by removing and throwing the garter himself.

Nowadays, all Single Men are invited to gather around while our Groom removes the garter from the Bride's leg. The Groom then tosses the garter to the motley crew, er... Single Gentlemen. If all goes well, one lucky guy catches the garter and no fist fights ensue.

I do have my own explanation of the true relevence of this ancient ritual;

This is the final test to see if our Groom has what it takes to be a good husband. Part of this test is his ability to use his manly powers of seduction to mesmerize his mate long enough to remove an intimate piece of clothing. If all goes well this could be considered the unofficial start of the Honeymoon!

This is also an opportunity for the Single Men to display their cunning, strength and physical agility in attempting to catch the garter. Single ladies should take notice. The catcher of the Garter is clearly mentally and physically superior to his competitors and is a most desirable mate. He can claim bragging rights over all other single men here and tradition has it that he will be the next to get married.

-DJ Craig

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hot Stuff!

New Releases...

- Albums-

Chet Baker- Jazz Moods - Cool (live)

Chet removes his trademark melancholy for a version of "Tangerine" that really cooks. "My Funny Valentine" is Baker at his best. His expression of sadness and wanting is as addicting as any drug.

Berlin's new album, Voyeur, is a disappointment save for the standout dance track, "Drug".

Coolio's latest, My Soul features the funky, "Ooh la la".

The Retrowave Era continues with The Slats album, Pick It Up featuring "Automobile", "Another Physical Reaction" and "The Fabric of My Brass Knuxxx".


Coldplay- "Speed of Sound". OK but not great.

On "Raewyn", Russell Crowe proves that great acting and bad singing CAN coexist.

Morrissey's new single is a live remake. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" is a cover of a classic Smith's track. His voice mellowed and matured, Morrissey still captures the pathos that captivates.

-DJ Craig

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Day The Music Died: Did The Beatles ruin Rock and Roll?

They took music to places it had never gone before. But it has long been contended by some that in doing so, The Fab Four changed Rock music into something it was never meant to be.

In the late 1960s, The Beatles driving obsession was to come up with a concept record that would rival Beach Boy Brian Wilson's masterpiece album, "Pet Sounds". John Lennon and company desperately wanted to trump what many considered to be the best rock album ever.

Fueled by this desire, "herbal jazz cigarettes" and whatever other mind altering substances they may have been experimenting with at the time, The four lads took to the studio in 1967. Their recent retirement from live performing meant they could devote all their free time to recording. With legendary producer George Martin at the helm, The lads finally emerged from the studio with the ambitious, divinely inspired, "Seargent Pepper" album.

There were sounds on this record that had never been attempted before and probably cannot be duplicated. A cornucopia of diverse instruments, overdubs, backwards loops, reverb, various filters and treatments, something that sounds like a Star Wars "Wookie" and even alarm clocks and roosters. Of course, the core of the album was the amazing songs written by the team of Lennon and Mc Cartney. Old hats at this songwriting business by now, both were at their creative peaks.

The finale of this opus was "A Day In The Life". This song's ending crescendo features a full orchestra hurtling wildly out of control, ending in a single massive E major piano chord being held for a full 42 seconds. In an era when most pop songs clocked in at 3 minutes or less, The Beatles had the audio-dacity to use much of this precious time for one single note. Of course, the album quickly rose to #1. A sonic marvel when it was first released, Sgt. Pepper is still revered as the standard by which other rock records are measured.

But was this truly "Rock" music? The point has been made that if one cannot reproduce these songs live on stage and without aid of studio trickery, it's really just audio masturbation. The Beatles had increasingly introduced so many diverse elements into their music, it had evolved far beyond the blues driven, rebellious, primordial stomp of predecessors Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.

While The Beatles inspired many of the greats who followed, they also made it possible for studio overproduced schmaltz to gain a foothold in Rock. This criticism was not lost on The Fab Four who, in their subsequent albums, strived for a more organic, rootsy sound. The White Album, Abbey Road and Let It Be seemingly deconstructed the complicated sound they had achieved with Sgt. Pepper. Let It Be culminated in their final, live, rooftop performance in 1969.

Arguments over Sgt. Pepper will rage on but The Beatles' other grand accomplishments stand on their own. Perhaps most important among them was their unmatched ability to write catchy, simple yet profound, universally relatable lyrics. And knowing when to quit, leaving their legacy untarnished.

Keep it simple. Do your best. Get out before you burn out.

Here the Boys from Liverpool remain undisputed champions.

-DJ Craig

Friday, April 15, 2005

Irony In Radioland: Killers Caught at KROQ!

Tonight's Menu: Crow with New Wave sauce.

The Killers' guest appearance on Loveline last night got me thinking...

Several years ago KROQ FM 106.7 in Los Angeles made the shortsighted decision to jettison most of their playlist. They replaced Elvis Costello with Korn and dropped Duran Duran in favor of Limp Bizkit. KROQ stopped playing most of the early 80's bands that originally made the station "World Famous".

The only nod "The Rock" now begrudgingly gives to it's progenitors is 1 hour per day and a few hours during the weekend. Even then, these Flashback Shows play only the tamest of the 80's.

KROQ's tight focus on "flavor of the moment", testosterone fueled, thrash groups and Blink 182 sound alike bands, leaves little room for acknowledging the great artists of station's past. Everyone's got to clean house at some point but do you throw out those treasured pics of Mom and Dad along with your old can of hair mousse?

KROQ did. And by doing so it also disposed with it's sense of humor, musical adventurousness and much of it's soul.

95.5 KLOS FM once tried a similar approach, "updating" their format. It was a disaster. They soon repented and changed their playlist back to feature more of the the legendary artists that put them and much of contemporary Rock Music, on the map.

KROQ's programming decision may now finally be biting them in the ass as well. Witness the prolific rise of new groups that are heavily influenced by 80's New Wave. Modest Mouse, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and and others' meteoric popularity cannot be ignored. Not even by KROQ.

So now KROQ has no choice but to play virtually the very same music they turned their back on not so long ago.

Hey KROQ, would you like some salt with your crow or are you gonna eat it plain?

The true spirit of musical adventure now resides at Indie 103.1 FM. They are not afraid to play the best of the late 70's, early 80's (you know, the stuff KROQ used to play) and the latest cutting edge alternative rock.

Yes, I'm a Pimp for Indie. But only because they have made radio fun to listen to again.

- DJ Craig

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Have You Heard The Latest?

This week's new releases of interest:

New Singles

George Strait- You'll Be There

Toni Braxton- Please

Backstreet Boys- Incomplete

New Albums

Aimee Mann- iTunes Originals features "One", "Voices Carry (iTunes Originals Version)" and "That's Just What You Are (iTunes Originals Version)".

Brandy- The Best of Brandy

The 26 year old Diva's greatest hits.

Faith Evans- The First Lady

Just good funk!

Fischerspooner- Odyssey

May make you nostalgic for Kraftwerk.

Hot Hot Heat- Elevator

The Retrowavers latest.

Lisa Marie Presley- Now What

Finally an album release from a Presley who hasn't been deceased for 30 years!

Music from The O.C.: Mix 4 (Soundtrack from the TV Show) features:

"Decent Days and Nights"- The Futureheads,
"Goodnight and Go"- Imogen Heap
"The View"- Modest Mouse and
"Champagne Supernova" (Oasis cover)- Matt Pond PA

Reel Big Fish- We're Not Happy 'til You're Not Happy

Listen to "We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful"

Supersuckers- Devil's Food

Check out the Suckers' hilarious countryfied thrash version of Outkast's "Hey Ya!"

Smashing Pumpkins Rarities and B-Sides

features the Blondie cover, "Dreaming"

Verve Remixed 3 (iTunes Version)

Disappointing third release in this series has only one standout track, "Speak Low (Bent Remix)"- Bent & Billie Holiday