Zeitgeist or a Waste of Time
by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Hall & Oates - "Rich Girl"

You're hearing this song everywhere. You only heard it for the first time last week, but now it's like buying a yellow car, or getting a certain kind of trendy shoe, you notice it all the times it was there before when you didn't notice it. This stretchy gold outfit fits like a plastic bag and dances knees-first like a once-sexy old timer. The melody is really nice, a little finger-wagging twilight disco, but the lyrics are a little off. I'm not sure Hall or Oates really understands the Rich Girl (as a species) when they sing "it's so easy to hurt others when you can't feel pain". That's all the Rich Girl feels, in my opinion, that's the problem. Any Rich Girls want to weigh in? [Buy]

Almeda Riddle - "My Little Rooster"

Long story short: I hated Harmony Korine for a long time without even giving him a chance. I recently saw Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy and my opinion took a 180. I'm a huge fan now. go fig.

Korine describes his style as "creating an environment where chaos can happen so i can film it". That's true of his style, but the most important side-effect (nay, almost another word for) that chaos, is truth in the motivation of the performers. The flash in someone's eye just before they lunge to punch someone else in the face, the head-down smirking showing-off of a drunk shirtless redneck pounding the hell out of a chair, it's so thick you can rub it between your fingers.

And here is no different, save only in tone. The motivation is still there, this is a song that sounds like it's been repeated literally thousands of times, like more times than you've said "um" in your entire life. But everything is perfect, like books on a shelf, and you can hear the hot room in which it's sung, the metal-lined yellow table, the napkin holder, the ketchup packets.

[Buy Gummo]
after a 7-year absence, Harmony Korine will release Mister Lonely to this continent sometime later this year.

Posted by Dan at July 30, 2007 3:58 AM

Hello. I was led to this website after Salon pulled the plug on Audiofile; it's good to meet you guys, and I hope Salon's bad business decision gives you a lot more click traffic. Okay. "Rich Girl" was THE song on my iPod two summers ago, and it was partly coincidental (like you said, you hear it everywhere), partly a response to an actual Rich Girl I thought I might be interested in/vice versa. She dressed cool, liked Elliott Smith, and wrote poetry. The whole bit. But then she'd open her mouth, and the most dreadful things would come out. I'm sure you're right, pain has to be a main ingredient in their emotional makeup. But even pain becomes a commodity when you can just put on Figure 8 and let the dead angry white boy work it out for you. No need to listen to the lyrics, to ask yourself if maybe you're what's the matter. Good luck getting a Rich Girl to open up about her pain.

Thanks for spreading the word--Hall and Oates are totally underrated, even when they seem to be overselling their street cred (the hint of violence in their creation myth, etc.). You know what else is a good song? "Ennui on the Mountain." First, the title is hilarious (was that the vocabulary of pop music listeners in the 70s?). Second, the opening guitar lick sounds like it was lifted directly from a Queen record. Finally, this song is great because it belongs to a very specialized nook of songwriting that took aim at the exodus of hippies and movie stars to Montana. Of course, it could never hold a candle to Zappa's tune of 1973, two years prior. ("Just me and the pygmy pony, over by the dental floss bush.")

Sorry for sneaking this microreview into your comments section. At least it's a first offense, and I had to say hi. It was all I could do to resist mentioning Patton Oswalt's joke, or the fact that I took one of those physics-lite classes at a liberal arts college (mine was called "Invitation to Physics"), or that my shameful familiarity with Star Trek would have ruined the joke for me were it not told so well. And, it seems, I could not resist. Now my cover is completely blown. What few scraps of coolness I didn't obliterate with my praise of Daryl Hall and John Oates have just been shot like a tachyon beam into the far reaches of space. Raise shields.

Posted by K. Michael at July 31, 2007 2:02 AM

I must say that one of the best shows I've ever seen was Hall and Oates and Michael McDonald. And, no, I'm not joking.

Posted by Lucas at July 31, 2007 6:28 PM

Oh man, I can't even believe how great "Rich Girl" is. The rhodes keyboard and sole hi-hat are so perfect in the intro. Have you ever watched any of the Yacht Rock episodes? If not, they are highly recommended.

Posted by Dylan at August 1, 2007 3:32 AM

i'm very looking forward to the new harmony korine flick. check out this interview of him talking about ol' dirty bastard.

"ol' dirty was one of my best friends...i first met him, he was having an argument with a telephone pole."

Posted by bryan at August 2, 2007 11:59 PM

oops, here's the link:


Posted by bryan at August 3, 2007 12:02 AM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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