Let's Get Musseled

Did you know that mussels taste good? If not, maybe charming young Frenchmen, such simple sophisticates, will convince you. Still not? Pair them with promo-copy for one American restaurant and the following money quote, and how can you not believe the Times?

“I’ll tell you who ate mussels in America 25 years ago,” said Paul Brayton, a Maine-based expert in shellfish aquaculture. “In a pizza joint in Jersey, if your pizza was taking too long, they used to send out half a dozen mussels on the half shell."

Yes. And some people in America even eat mussels at the dinner table, New Bedford-style, with chorizo, cooked in a big red steaming pot, over pasta. But telling the Times that would throw off their penchant for breaking news trends (pysch!). That, and their willingness to print writers while they're on vacation, hamming it up on French Nantucket, learning the proper way to squat for a shit.

Note: Judy's on the Seat now.


Remember when we sweat on Coney Island, Pt. 2 (featuring Art Brut)

Follow the page down, or just click here to jump to the Seat's previous coverage of now-old-news Siren Fest. Do we care that this event happened weeks ago? No. Did I have to wait for film to develop, busy myself with other things, and then scan glossy prints? Yes. But, really, it's all for this. Jonathan Richman sang about "Israel's arid plains" once, and here's Eddie Argos, singing a song "to make Israel and Palestine get along." Need I say more, folks?

And then Eddie Argos gets tired, and talks with more detail about Emily Kane.

Then he jumps into the crowd.

And then I'm face to face with Eddie. Sam's helping him rock out, but I can't snap a decent photo.

And, for good measure, the jaded Stylus reviewer himself, pissed off that I won't go with to see Scissor Sisters.

Hey, remember when we sweat on Coney Island?

Here we have the Rogers Sisters, with emphasis on bassist Miyuki Furtado, whom Sam and I recently passed one quiet night last week in Brooklyn.

Tapes 'N Tapes was endearing, and boring. But Man Man, on the other hand...

...was crafty kitchen sink, acid-face mayhem. I don't think their straight. In fact, I think they'd get along well with hippie Ernie.


Freshening the Seat

It has been a while, to be sure, what with a semester fling with Judy and a summer wrapped up in the war. But the Standard Toilet Seat is due for a freshening-up, with shiny new content, from musings on NYC fools ("do you want me to tell you about my art") to the soon-posted Siren Music Festival photo extravaganza (thanks to Stylus Magazine, Sam and I were in the press pit last Saturday, and I was snapping away with my film camera, hence the current delay in uploading the hot shots of Art Brut, et al).

Also, as we did here during Freedom Spring, the Seat will resume its role as mouthpiece/ personal promoter of the Stovetop Records kids! Sam and I, plus Matt from the Wailing Wall, have an upcoming show at Sine-E on August 8th (!!!). It'll be the debut of the First Wives Club.


(no good lyrics to quote here)

Way cuter than Razorlight

While those damn kids over at the Judy try their damned best to sink the Kristof bitch who may have bit Gourevitch in her essay, the Seat brings you something lighter: a review!

Just like the last blurb, I'm rubbing shoulders with Scott McKeating, always and everywhere. Except you don't get any free mp3s this time, because I deleted that shit from my computer.

From The Cliffs EP
Fantastic Plastic 2006

If you’re not big on strong songwriting, you’ll like this kitchen sink stuff. But don’t be surprised when Guillemots—fat birds that can fly and swim—make like tame bloated rockers, dabbling in creaky orchestras and the nine-minute saccharine organ vamp. “Trains to Brazil,” for one, is thoroughly underwhelming for a calling card single, an overemotive vocal married to an arbitrarily constructed jaunt. This English foursome is no more than the heir apparent to The Beta Band, and, save a timid piano coda (“My Chosen One”), this EP is no more than jam seshes and woozy melodies.
[Sam Bloch]

I mean, if you're really curious, check the MySpace. Kinda like what Tim Burgess said at the Charlatans show yesterday.


The truth in searching is not having found

Left-handed people have an advantage in fighting without weapons, because of the "surprise" factor. This fact is well known to boxers and was employed to world-record effect on Nov. 4th 1947 when Mike Collins, a natural left-hander, emerged from his corner in a right-handed stance before suddenly shifting left and delivering the fight's first and last punch, knocking out opponent Pat Brownson in 4 seconds.

Hey, Stylus Magazine, guess who's back! Sure, you ain't missed me much-- what with my last contributions as a kid set loose in a candy shop-cum-couple of interviews-- but thanks our boy David, who introduced me to Mr. Longstreth, now I'm taking Portland's finest to the big leagues. To run in a week or so, but without all these free songs (though only for a week) and rad hypertext links. Oh, the wonders of the internet-- helping to make music writing the dinosaur that it truly is.

The Dirty Projectors
New Attitude EP
Marriage Records 2006

Instead of the majestic wail at the end of The Getty Address—femme, meditated, scythed, multitracked—Dave Longstreth picks up the pace and opens this record with his single caterwaul, a clarity further expanded by—surprise!—a fluid backing band. Admittedly, Longstreth stills meddles with the collage shit that makes Scott Herren want to call it quits, but it’s compounded with singer-songwriter zen. So we've got drums with momentum, for example, and a near-corporeal guitar twang that’s way more than a motif from Address“I Will Truck.” And when Longstreth yells “precious reciprocity!” on live track “Two Young Sheeps," his eight-minute take on Graceland, the audience claps and yells right back. All of which is funny, of course, because even though dirty projectors show us obscured images, this batch is pretty clear.

Edit: rubbing shoulders with Scott McKeating, always and everywhere.

The Terror of the Music Writers' Racial Furor

On Slate, John Cook's buttoned-up, though hardly backed-up riff of a few old blog posts by Sasha Frere-Jones and Jessica Hopper begs two question: can a manifesto (hating rap=hating black) really be gleaned from a few fiery posts by successively influential music writers; and either way, fuck Pitchfork for making music writing the money ticket in recent years. Stick to crackpot adjectives and me-first absolute phrases; leave the social posturing to politicians and athletes.

Still - and not to wax cracker here - Hopper's claim against the Mag Fields "whiteness" is as crass as her, and SFJ's, own projection that Merritt's pooh-poohing of Beyonce, Prince, and others means he hates black people - at least, if either one was ever even saying that.

If SFJ's oft-writerly The New Yorker criticism (his wistful Arctic Monkeys' splurge aside) pumps tunes unfamiliar, let alone unappealing, does that mean I hate Houston? I hope not. The 'Stros do have the Rocket. Better question: do I resent Kanye because I don't own Late Registration, or any rap records released since 2001? However flimsy Cook's indictment of SFJ & Hopper is (the pickings are pretty slim from both blogs' archives), he does expose their suggestions of security, which seek to assure a Talk-O'-Towny readership that at least they're not as white as Stephin Merritt because they read Sasha.

SFJ opened up the field today on his blog, asking some wider questions, which while thoughtfully New Yorker, are pretty frivolous. It's only pop music after all, right?

Maybe not: that I love Pavement does say something about my choice to be a slacker - I mean, SM and Spiral Stairs speak to my liberal-arts college procrastination, right? Maybe they are social actors in my quite-white life, which currently isn't "terrified that entertainment might be tainted by the problems of the social sphere that entertainment is so often employed to block out." I only find that terror in my prep school memories of rich, padded Young Republicans blasting DMX in their newly-leased cars. Meanwhile, I listen to Pavement, Stephin Merritt, and, no offense, not Kanye.


The News

If you're ever sitting idly, perhaps eating a poorly wrapped burrito, trying to do anything but what it is that you have to do, delve into Ananova, a British news site ("the home of breaking news") that will surely skirt any inklings of "in order to make myself feel better, I'm going to feel sorry for myself. Damn this sour cream is stingy." Example: in a summer internship at Maxim last year, which Sam will be undertaking this summer, I used Ananova extensively for assigned research on the kinds of quirky, stupid shit that fill Maxim's last page. I learned in Qatar that month (this was July), a camel race had been held, except not any old camel race. Instead of amazingly petite Spanish (or I suppose in this case, Qatari) men, robots would ride the hump to the finish-line glory. Yes, robots. As jockeys. Riding the camels. This was the first time any such event had been staged. Since, I have found that this story was covered by far more respected outlets, but still...I read it on Ananova first.

In that vein, two delights just found tonight:

Pips might taste better microwaved, but Berliner Karl-Friedrich Lentze is pissed - he's suing Watership Down's sellout relative because chocolate makes you fat, and because said relative is "sadistic...unscrupulous." Better yet, some crackpot Berlin lawyer agrees with him.

Or even better still, and Stovetops listen up, it seems a record deal is only a few depressing, private basement webcam performances away. I'm not saying this holds a candle to Freedom Spring, but if Paul McCartney gives you some vague advice, the obvious course is to run with it and fire up the webcam, right?


the high and mighty

How noble of the Times to stay above the storm - dubbed payola six - currently bearing down on their much cheaper newsstand neighbors by blithely reporting on it! Not to hate too much on the Ol' Gray Lady - i'll now do so here - but the Times coverage of payola six/NYP/NYDN duel right now reeks of breakfast newsflashes to out-of-touch, Fairfield Hoighty-Toights. "Dear, have you seen this section yet? It appears there's some sort of ruckus between the two tabloids the gardeners are always reading during their lunch break. Hmm, how entertaining."

Though, for the sake of fairness, I have to admit I hadn't yet heard the one about the Daily News breaking the story on the Post's circulation scam. Apparently, they said some 10,000 papers were bound for China. What they really meant was a recycling plant in Greenpoint. Nor was I aware that dandy Jared Paul Stern used to be a Phishhead. The dude went to BENNIGTON! And look at him now! Under the bright lights of the FBI! With an edgy, prep sensibilty, even! (Note: Jared Paul Stern's online apparel looks so budget, so hoaky, one has to wonder if it's just a front for the transcontinental coke ring this dandy's running on Ron Perelman and Harvey Weinstein's dime.)

There's a lot more to comment on this story, though what I find most intriguing are the now-daily Times buzzupdates on payola six, including what's above: a flashy, New York-magazinish floating head graphic that, somehow, connects Tracy Morgan with Hil, Bill, and Leo's former flame. Damn, Arthur, the troops are good.