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June 27, 2007


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you have pegged one of my major "what's wrong with todays bands" theory... that a f-ing terrible band like "america" is somehow now cool and (ugh!) unfluential ... and said without irony. didn't america do the original version of muskrat love? didn't captain and tenniel cover that song... shall i rest my case there or rant on....i remember when those records were new, and i didn't know anyone that didn't think they were lame as hell - even my mom, who remarkably liked led zeppelin, but also elton john (who i also must say, was NEVER cool,so don't go down that road either) didn't have an america record... sure, if you're 20 and in a band you don't have all the baggage i do (i'm actually grateful for bands like america because their lameness sent me to punk rock the minute it happened..) you can approach it with a clear head, but once you hear it how does it not suck ass!... as much as i'm sick of hearing bands mention gang of four as a major influence, at least they were f-ing amazing (their one major flaw was that they spawned the dreadful shriekback...); but i just don't get the america thing at all... and i have to say, i'm a little surprised you bent under such pressure.... next time you want to drop dough on something like that remember those old warner bros. cartoons where the unsuspecting character's face would turn into a giant lollypop and then in neon lights it would blink "sucker" a few times...p.s.i wish they'd put your review of astral weeks on the all music guide... hilarious!

"unfluential" - can I start using that word? It is somehow the perfect descriptor of America.

Yeah, I'm actually pretty embarrased by my number of misses this time around. I've unintentionally had a 70s moment the last few months. There was good stuff made in the 70s but it is really, really easy to trip over the shit.

I think my entire list of albums in this post is a lesson in trusting one's gut. We were total suckers.

Maybe I'll start moving into the 80s instead. Hey, have you heard of this band Air Supply? I think they might be totally rad, just waiting to be rediscovered...

Dude. Agree with you about America (when I saw Low live, I really couldn't believe it when they talked about loving America--in fact, I think one of the guys from America played with them), but Astral Weeks is gorgeous. One of the greatest albums ever made by anybody. I mean, I don't know what to say. It's never occurred to me to have to defend it, it's greatness being just a given, a natural part of my life.

I can only say, put it aside and come back another time... what are your thoughts on jazz?

Richard, I probably will put it aside. There are so many people like you out there... those that say to me "you don't like Astral Weeks? As if I've told them that I hate chocolate or think The Godfather is overrated. It makes me think I must be missing something. But in the meantime, that voice! the incoherence! the voice!

Well, if you don't like someone's voice, you don't like their voice. Sure, it can grow on you, but if it doesn't...

But it's not clear to me what incoherence has to do with it. Are lyrics supposed to be coherent? (And here I'm not saying that his are or are not. It never occurred to me either way.) They are very impressionistic, the music is largely improvisational, the players are jazz musicians (I believe Richard Davis is on the bass).

It's interesting when someone doesn't like something you cherish. The arguments against often seem simply bizarre.

don't back down, man! that record is atrocious!

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