Today's Sounds

Yesterday's Meat Puppet
*special introductory paragraph!
*Songs Of Spiritual Uplift EP
*The Sounds Of Today

Back in the `50s, there was a popular American band named The Meat Puppets. The band featured two brothers, Don and Phil Everly, and an irrepressible third wheel named Derrick Bostrom on the traps. He caught so many squirrels in the traps that finally they let him play drums. In 1980, brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood met Derrick Bostrom down at the local Pot Store and formed a band called The Meat Puppets. They played punk rock and broke up after one album. In 1994, a band called The Meat Puppets appeared on "MTV's Buttfucked" and caused a wild sensation when they performed covers of nine Nirvana songs and then all died in a car crash. Drummer Derrick Bostrom went on to form The Foo Fighters. That band was called "Today's Sounds."


Songs Of Spiritual Uplift EP - Amarillo 1996.
Rating = 8

Derrick Bostrom doesn't seem like a fellow who would LIKE the Meat Puppets, let alone play in the band for 20 years. But looks can be deceiving (like women, the lying whores). Nevertheless, I guess two decades of deceit were enough for him because with "Today's Sounds," he presented the kind of music that HE is into. Classics of almost-novelty poppiness. Orchestral instrumentals merging pop with synthesized goo (not on this one, but eventually). Cover tunes of such diverse, confusing tastes that you honestly can't even tell whether he's a fan of the music he's presenting. In fact, many people reacted to this 7-inch the same way that many people react to everything ELSE that Gregg Turkington released on his now-defunct Amarillo label - they sold it on ebay.

But that was a mistake. For this record is TREMENDOUS fun! It's short, of course - only 7 inches. But the meaty girth, short curly hairs and visible blue veins of the work becomes all too obvious from the second the needle hits the artery of the grooves. TRACK ONE: What IS this awful bubblegummy crap? And, even worse - why do I KNOW this awful bubblegummy crap? Because it's The Archies, Ron Dante's Inferno of cuteness that made the world safe for such putrid sugary sexist garbage as the 1910 Fruitgum Company (regardless of their misleading titles designed to fool intelligentsia, "1,2,3 Red Light," "Goody Goody Gumdrops" and "Simon Says" are all about trying to lay some pipe in the bush - and they're geared towards ten years olds!!!!!

Song Number B: "Let's Turkey Trot." Of course you all know the Jan and Dean version and both sing and perform it on stage every night at Blackie's, but wait til you hear DERRICK BOSTROM's version. It will change your entire perception of the world - acoustic guitar strumming happily, bouncy fast drums tap-tap-tapping along, electric piano (in general) and Bostrom (or "The Boss," as American rock fans call him) singing like a happy fellow from Phoenix, AZ.

Flip the record over and Buckner and Garcia's "Pac-Man Fever" gives you a 1-2 punch in the kidneys, making you piss acoustic blood for a week. Are you writing this down??? An ACOUSTIC FOLKY version of "Pac-Man Fever"!!! Are you seeing the connection here? He is taking what in the 80s was known as "the top- of-the-line in electronics" and making a brilliant statement about it by playing it as a form of music best left in the 1940s with Pete Seeger and his Silver Bullet Band. Future has become past - laughably ANCIENT past. I like to read stupid, obviously wrong deeper meanings into everything I hear.

Then it ends with Harlan Howard's country-western "Still Going Steady," which - you know, I mean the bass line is nice. It's okay. It's just hard for me to enjoy any country/western at all since being exposed to the genre's most breathtaking masterpiece of perfection, "Elvira."

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The Sounds Of Today - Derrick Bostrom 2000.
Rating = 8

LOTS OF KEYBOARD INSTRUMENTALS! No it cannot be denied! But they're catchy. When people just play songs - with no ego or intention of having a hit, or reliance on verse/chorus/verse/chorus/middle eight/solo/verse/chorus construction, it's much easier to just enjoy the song for what it is. Without judgement. It's not trying to BE anything. It's simply a collection of notes for you to (A) enjoy or (B) not enjoy. I personally enjoy a ton of these melodies, just like I enjoy a ton of melodies by "Christian Religion," the project of a friend of mine who used to record great keyboard instruemntals. Aside from those, there's a punker tune and a bunch of covers (a disco version of a song from HAIR, a Barry White song, a Frank Sinatra song and one other one that would be easy to look up). You have to like what Derrick likes though. Derrick likes kind of corny cheesy over-orchestrated pop music.

Derrick Bostrom doesn't seem like he would have been in a touring rock band for twenty years. I met him and he seems like you or me. Me or you. You or me (Eddie Van Halen). It's funny to listen to this cd and hear how wildly different his taste is from that of Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets fame. To be insightful, this is homemade music. You can either trash it because it's "underwritten" or you can pay attention to the way the guy layered on lots of different synth lines to create catchy easy listening songs. Yes they're homemade, but why is that bad? Melodies are important - I don't care what kind of budget you give to The Latest Popular Nu Metal Sensation, they're going to leave melody at the door. Because for some reason, most peole can't write decent songs. I don't know why. It's not that difficult. But the number of bands who think that a couple of really heavy loud distorted chords and a guy shouting over it equals a song should make anybody's mind reel. People are stupid, and they just keep getting stupider. If you think I'm overreacting, wait until you're called for jury duty. Look at the people around you and tell me that we aren't living in a nation of fucking retards. And I'm a vegeratiran!!!! Usually hippy pussyass treehuggers say nice things about people. But you know what? A lot of stupid people are "mean as hell," as Johnny Cash might name an album. Fuck em. I'd rather have a nice dog than a stupid racist asshole person - I put in the word "racist" to appear politically correct. To be honest, I'm just rather astonished by the number of people who buy lottery tickets on a regular basis. Or sue McDonalds because they're fat lazy pieces of shit. Or smoke cigarettes for forty years, thaen act surprised when they get cancer. But enough about you - let's talk about drumming for the Meat Puppets. Derrick, whats YOUR opinion? Did you present "Naked" and "What Are Ya Tryin To Say" to the other Meat Puppets only for Curt to say "No" and Cris to say "I need a dirtier needle"? That wasn't nice. So how can I criticize everyone and not myself? Fine. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder. I get extremely anxious in stressful situations But I try not to hurt people.

This is not a lie - between 11th grade and college graduation (and I am not exaggerating), I don't think I went THREE days without falling asleep in at least one class. And now I can't control my anxiety or painful, frightening escalating obsessions regarding those buildings falling down over and over. Those buildings were huge they were HUGE if you never saw them in person you just don't understand they were SO GODDAMNED HUGE. They were FUCKING ENORMOUS. And I worked on the one hundred and fourth floor for about three weeks when I was younger. SoI had to take THREE different elevators to get to work eevery morning. That is a HORRIBLE way to die. You know how you get that awful feeling in your stomach when you ride a "Free Fall" ride or jump off a rope in gym class? Multiply it by at least fifty, and make it last a lot longer. And have yourself KNOW that it ends in your body being an unrecognizable mass of blood and skin and organs. These images don't leave. Every day some prick has to say nine eleven. Nine eleven.. oh what about nine eleven? Nine eleven. It was a year ago and NOBODY WILL SHUT UP ABOUT IT. Nine eleven nine eleven nine eleven. Let me try to make this clear - people who lost loved ones DON'T NEED TO BE REMINDED EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THEIR LIVES, YOU INSENSITIVE MEDIA PRICKS.

People are getting poorer and angrier and the rich are getting richer and more evil (Enron, WorldCom, AOL) and murders and bombings and overpopulation and poverty - YOU TELL ME HOW IT'S EVER GONNA GET BETTER. Guess what? This year is the SECOND HOTTEST YEAR IN THE HISTORY OF RECORDED WEATHER! That's ozone depletion. That's greenhouse effect. Anyone who says it isn't - how in God's name could you possibly believe them? Second hottest year in HISTORY??????? WHY???? Because people need more money for a bigger house. The management team of Enron should get the death penalty for what they did. They ruined so many lives. The money dude (forgot his title, but like "money dude") at Worldcom should get the death pentalty. White collar crime is EVIL. Their greed and complete lack of consideration for anybody else's well-being demands that they be taken away from the living race. There are far too many people in the world for us to tolerate people like Kenneth Lay. He deserves to have his skin peeled off while he is alive, and then to have a billion rats unleashed upon him. But luckily, he's friends with our president and vice-president, so he will see no penalty at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In other words, music isn't very important in the grand scheme of things -- which makes me feel even WORSE about myself because I wouldn't want to live without it. I'm a frivolous, entertainment-minded little beast. And my name is Bono!

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