The Wonderful World of Rock

Famed “wall of sound” producer and gun enthusiast Phil Spector’s case in his trial for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson has taken a big hit. The judge of his case has ruled that testimony for four other incidents in which Spector pulled guns on women can be used to support the prosecution’s “Phil Spector is a gun-waving nut” case, which seems like it should be obvious to anyone who knows even the slightest thing about him.

Although he is currently free on a $1 million-dollar bail, Phil’s defense team has their work cut out for them and are trying to play the “gold-digging frivolous lawsuit” angle to discredit the newly admitted testimony, the incidences of which range from 1988 to 1995. However, Spector has been known to pull guns on other people in the past, even threatening Johnny Ramone with a firearm after the guitarist refused to cooperate with Spector’s wishes during the recording of the End of the Century album. Of course, Johnny was far too tough to be intimidated by Spector, calling him a sad little man and other hilariously appropriate things.

Several other incidents in the past have resulted in charges against the producer for brandishing loaded weapons in people’s faces, so I would imagine that the combination of all this evidence should be enough to convince people that his claim that he had “never pulled a gun on any of these women, make that very clear” is about as much bullshit as all those string quartets he piles on top of every album he produces.

I haven’t really liked Radiohead for years. Sure, they were pretty cool back in high school when I didn’t know as much about what was out there, but now they just put me to sleep. And all that politicking on Hail to the Thief really turned me off. Get over Bush-bashing, for Christ’s sake. It’s so pass�. And to title your album with some lamely ironic stab at someone who’s not even your president? That’s bad art. Kennedy stole the election too, but no one bitches about that.

Anyway, I had pretty much forgotten about them since then, and was enjoying it, too. Then I had the misfortune of reading music news and noticed that Thom Yorke is campaigning extensively in England against global warming. Great, like we need another Bono getting in our face about issues that were tired in the ’90s. And it’s not like “climate change” is something you can campaign against, since it’s going to happen naturally no matter what. So please, artists, concentrate on what you can actually have an impact on, like your art that’s suffering under the weight of your overbearing political messages.

Ah! A breath of fresh air, even though it actually came out 15 years ago. Sonic Youth is re-releasing their major label debut Goo this year and will be giving it the deluxe treatment, in keeping with Pavement and Dinosaur Jr’s recent re-releases of some of their main hits. Hey, kids, you should try these guys out, and not try and talk to me about the Arcade Fire or My Chemical Romance or the Killers or any of that crap. Then, maybe you’ll understand what “indie rock” means. Not bad retro-rock ’80s bullshit like all of you seem to think.

Moving on, though, the album is going to feature, of course, a remastered version of the LP, along with demos, B-sides, outtakes and other treats, and will be released on either two CDs or four LPs. The vinyl version will include a fancy booklet with writings and essays, in true Sonic Youth fashion. In addition, a live CD-R (SYR 6) and an untitled instrumental jam from last year will be coming out too, so we all have plenty to look forward to.

And maybe, if just one Oberst-coiffed, skate shoe-wearing, rubber bracelet-having, diary-writing teen buys it accidentally instead of the Warped Tour compilation, there will be a little bit of hope for the new generation. If not, then we old-timers will have to put up with these kids and their “whatever-you-call-it-core” forever.