Blog

  • January Record Day 2013 Compilation

    Hi everyone. How are you? This is fun.

    Instagram hosts monthly events that celebrate the aquisition and consumption of music through the greatest medium that exists as a listener/collector: vinyl. I don't personally hold the opinion that vinyl always sounds better than digital mediums, but I do find a lot of redeeming qualities in the process of listening to vinyl. I enjoy how interactive it is. I enjoy the packaging and artwork. I enjoy having to get up to change sides and I enjoy how the limitations of vinyl force me to listen to the entirety of records in an age when it's all too easy to skip ahead to something else. This is the compilation of my submissions for January Record Day. Follow me on Instagram (username: clintwells) for all kinds of funny and sometimes inspiring updates usually centered around music. 

    If you've not yet invested in listening to music on vinyl I hope this will inspire you to do so. If you're a junkie like me then I hope you'll share in my joy with me. Thanks for reading. Love and hugs, buds!

    Day 1: Any Record You Want

    Pearl Jam - Backspacer (2009)

    Day 2: Guilty Pleasure

    Madonna - Like A Virgin (1984)Day 3: Colored Record

    Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts (2012)

    Day 4: Artist That Starts With The Letter 'D'

    Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong (2011)

    Day 5: Compilation/Soundtrack

    The Motown Sound - A Collection of Original Big Hits Vol. 5 (1966)

    Day 6: Picture Disc

    Tool - Lateralus (2001)

    Day 7: Any 7 Inch

    Pornography: 7 Minutes In Heaven (2013)

    Day 8: Album From the 80's

    Peter Gabriel - So (1986)

    Day 9: Transparent Colored Record

    Ryan Adams - Cardinology (2008)

    Day 10: Any 10 Inch

    Jon Black & The Winter Hearts - The Beginning: Up From The Ground Vol. 1 (2010)

    Day 11: Collection of an Artist

    Ryan Adams (everything but Love Is Hell (2003)

    Day 12: Artist That Starts With the Letter 'J'

    Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland (1968)

    Day 13: Splattered

    One In The Chamber - Untitled (2007)

    Day 14: Record From A Used Bin

    Paul Simon - Graceland (1986)

    Day 15: Album From High School

    A Perfect Circle - Mer De Noms (2000)

    Day 16: Live Album

    U2 - Rattle and hum (1982)

    Day 17: Most Recently Purchased

    Agenda Of Swine - Waves of Human Suffering (2006)

    Day 18: Record That Was A Gift

    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - Born To Run (1975)

    Day 19: Album From the 90's

    Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (1994)

    Day 20: Any Black Artist (MLK Day)

    Prince - Sign Of the Times (1987)

    Day 21: Artist Debut Album

    Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction (1987)

    Day 22: Double LP

    Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979)

    Day 23: Red Colored Record

    Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)

    Day 24: Favorite Record Friday

    Randy Newman - Little Criminals (1977)

    Day 25: Rainy Day Album

    Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007)

    Day 26: Half/Half Colored Record

    Slayer - Show No Mercy (1983)

    Day 27: Album On Classic Black

    Elliot Smith - Either/Or (1997)

    Day 28: More Than Two Colors

    Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - III/IV (2010)

    Day 29: First Record You Bought

    Patti Smith - Horses (1975)

    Day 30: Any Record Before the 80's

    The Bee Gees - Best Of (1969)

    Day 31: Any Record You Want

    Cat Power - Jukebox

    Comments
  • Deep Cuts With Clint Wells #1

    Greetings and welcome to my first installment of Deep Cuts. Growing up as a music lover I was always drawn to the songs on albums not heard on the radio or seen on MTV. These little hidden gems keep me excited about records. If you've got an hour and want to hear some of the songs that inspire me and keep me listening, this is the series for you. Enjoy. 

    Note: You need to have the spotify app running on your computer or iphone/ipad to listen to this playlist. It's free and super easy to use. 

     

    Comments
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967 - 2014)

    Last Sunday (February 2nd, 2014) Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his West Village, Manhattan apartment of an apparent drug overdose. In addition to the syringe hanging from his arm, authorities found a large amount of heroin hidden in his apartment. Shockingly, it seems that PSH struggled for some time with this addiction.

    I was surprised by how much his passing saddened me. Not only because of the tragic nature of his death and the grieving family he leaves behind but also his young age (46) and the realization that some of the most moving cinematic experiences I have had I owe to this man. His performances as an actor are, in my opinion, scarcely rivaled. It's rare that I consider actors true artists, despite the amazing difficulty of doing that job well. But in the case of Philip Seymour Hoffman, not only do I consider him a true artist, I consider him to be one of the the few standards I hold other actors to who aspire to be one. I'd like to take a few brief moments to highlight my favorite scenes of his in a spirit of sad thankfulness and gratitude.

    1. The Only True Currency In This Bankrupt World Is What You Share With Someone Else When You're Uncool. (Almost Famous)

     2. You Never Went To College. (The Big Lebowski)

     3. Gust's Monologue. (Charlie Wilson's War)

     4. Can I Kiss You? (Boogie Nights)

     5. Last Name: Reaper, First Name: Grim. (Along Came Polly)

     6. This Is The Scene In The Movie Where You Help Me Out. (Magnolia)

     7. What Have I Done? (Doubt)

     8. We Are On A Journey That Risks The Dark. (The Master)

     9. I Did Everything I Could (Capote)

    What an amazing range he had. Of course these brief clips pale in comparison to the context of the films we find them in. I hope if you haven't had the pleasure of seeing his work that, at least, his death will inspire you to do so. And for all of us who know what a treasure we've lost, we can find comfort in revisiting these great films, performances, and characters.

    A lot is being said about drugs and addiction. Unlike most of those quick to judge, my inexperience and ignorance of such things leave me silently reflective on the issue. All I know is that to be so lost in something so devastating must have been very painful. My heart is heavy all around. I will miss sharing the planet with Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thanks for reading.

    CW

    Comments
  • What The Fuck Happened To MTV?

    No, seriously. What the FUCK happened to MTV? I mean, I get it. MTV hasn't played music in something close to 700 years. I understand that this is not a new or even mildly controversial issue. Fine. Chalk it up to extreme delayed response syndrome. 

    But WHAT THE FUCK?

    My wife and I recently acquired cable after spending the last several years in blessed television ignorance due to the fact that it is now CHEAPER for us to have internet + cable rather than our previous deal of just internet. Don't even get me started on the sheer evil inanity of cable companies, I'm just explaining my recent plunge into this severely moral issue. 

    According to the channel guide the itinerary for MTV on an average day consists of these enlightening programs:

    16 And Pregnant

    Are You The One?

    Catfish: TV Series

    Friendzone

    Hey Girl

    Girl Code

    House of Food

    Jersey Shore

    Laguna Beach

    Ridiculousness

    Snookie and JWOW

    Teen Mom

    Teen Mom 2

    Teen Mom 3

    THREE TEEN MOM SHOWS. I've never seen a single second of Teen Mom so I don't want to speak from ignorance, but do we really need THREE Teen Mom shows? Couldn't we have just one teeny, tiny half hour of music?

    MTV: What the fuck happened to you??

    Warning: I'm about to go into a "when I was a kid" rant. These kinds of rants tend to be horribly boring and meandering but I'm going to try and do it with humor, emotion and poignance so bare with me and don't say I didn't warn you. Deal? Good.

    When I was a kid (born in '83, the year MTV took to the air) MTV played...you guessed it, music videos! Oh my sweet Lord it was hours and hours and hours of beautiful music videos. There was something for everyone it seemed. The metal kids could stay up late and watch Heavy Metal Mania and Headbanger's Ball. The grunge kids could geek out on Alternative Nation. The weirdo dance kids (hey, dance music was weird in the 90's) could vibe out on The Grind. The hip hop kids (of which I was one) had the incredibleYo! MTV Raps! Hell, you could watch 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield and learn more about life and music than whatever your teacher shoved down your throat that day in third grade. I mean, dudes, the most popular, non-music show on MTV used to be Beavis and Butthead. And guess what? In Beavis and Butthead they showed....wait for it....MUSIC VIDEOS. The first time I ever heard of Judas Priest or Gwar or The Cure were in episodes of Beavis and Butthead

    We were only able to tolerate reality television pioneers The Real World because 1. It was only on once a goddamn week and 2. it was actually real. The Real World cast members used to be a group of mostly unattractive, super flawed and sometimes very boring people. You know, kind of like nearly everyone you and I know. How it evolved into this terrible motley crue of insipid barbie dolls and over-tanned, unread walking erections I'll never know. 

    But Clint, sex sells, brah.

    Yeah, I get it. But my question is this: what is so unsexy about Duran Duran's "Ordinary World"? What about Garbage's "Stupid Girl"? How about any Sting video or TLC's "Red Light Special" or Toni Braxton or Danzig or Madonna in "Like A Prayer"? Yeah, sex sells. But music is one of the sexiest things on this planet.

    I'm not buying it. You know what I fear it might be? Stupid sells. Take the lowest common denominator of bovine American entertainment and throw it in a dirty sauce pan with reality TV, the new, unending quest for 15 minutes of infamy and sell it to kids using sex and pretending to be counter-culture. Boom, you have the new MTV. A channel that literally means MUSIC TELEVISION and yet has nothing to do with music any longer. 

    We could speculate for a long time about why MTV utterly sucks now. It's likely a large number of complicated factors (read: money). But in the meantime, are there consequences for this travesty of a music channel? Almost every peer of mine in the music industry got their musical education from MTV. MTV was one of the most important creative and artistic resources I had other than my records and the radio. It's literally where I learned to do what I do now, which is make a living through art and expression. Where are our future generations of musicians and artists getting this education?  Well, it's not like The Beatles had MTV, Clint. True. But The Beatles also didn't have Teen Mom 3

    I remember when Madonna released her video for "Like A Prayer." In this video she lyrically and visually tackles issues of racial profiling, interracial sexuality, bigotry and religious criticism. It was unsurprisingly banned by the Vatican. At the time (1989) this video which, in my opinion, encouraged some (not all) healthy ideas for growing women was considered a disgrace and harmful for our children. But what's more harmful? An artist using provocative lyrics and imagery to stimulate ideas that rattle taboos or 24/7 programming that glorifies teenage pregnancy (by making these girls instant celebrities), Jersey Shore values, bafoonery and people hurting themselves on YouTube videos while a bunch of vacuous idiots point and laugh?

    I'm going with Madonna for my kids. In the words of the great 20th century poet and badass guitar player Mark Knopfler:

    "I want my motherfucking* MTV!"

    a concerned lover of all things music,

    CW

    *expletive added by author for emphasis

    Comments
  • 11 Interesting Musical Facts About Me You Might Not Know

    1. I go to sleep listening to music almost every night. This habit started when I was around seven years old with the Pantera record, "Cowboys From Hell."



    2. When I was a kid I actually thought Michael Jackson was my friend.

    3. In 4th grade I was listening to "7" by Prince on my walkman in school. Not realizing the room was completley quiet, I began singing the chorus out loud, VERY loud. Everyone looked at me like I was an alien. As humiliating as this was, I'm actually quite proud of it now.



    4. In 6th grade I called my neighborhood friends and told them to come to my house with "attitude" and "tennis rackets." When they arrived all I said was "follow me." We went to my room and I played R.E.M.'s "Monster" as loud as I could and we air-guitared throughout the entire record. I'll never forget it.



    5. In middle school I had 13 Pearl Jam t-shirts. One of them had siamese twins on the front. My P.E. teacher referred to this as "disgusting."

    6. In my 7th grade yearbook picture I am wearing a Rage Against The Machine "Evil Empire" t-shirt on which is depicted a 7th grade age boy who actually (oddly) looked like me. The coincidence was lost on me until I saw the actual picture and was mildly horrified.



    7. In my 11th grade yearbook picture I am wearing an original Metallica "…and Justice For All" tour t-shirt which probably explains why I was single that year.



    8. The first thing I ever bought from eBay was an original The Cure "Boys Don't Cry" t-shirt for $25. I wore it nearly every day for two years. I sadly do not know where it is now.



    9. I bought my first iPod at age 20. After loading it up with every record I've ever owned, my first listen was Avril Lavigne's 2002 debut, "Let Go." I loved every second of it.



    10. My first concert was the 1996 KISS reunion tour in Columbus Ohio. I was 13 years old and sang every word to the surprise of the 40 year old Hell's Angel biker next to me. In school I drew the faces of the members of KISS on all of my notebooks which explains why I was single in 8th grade.



    11. The first song I learned to play on guitar was "Glycerine" by Bush. I was 12 years old. I called the girl I had a crush on and played it for her instrumentally over the phone. All 4 excruciating minutes of it. Amazingly, she was impressed. Instead of playing it cool and calling it quits I excitedly played her the only other song I knew and which I had just learned: "Spiderwebs" by No Doubt. This explains why she never dated me.

    Comments
  • Music and Magic

    I used to travel to Montgomery, AL from Birmingham, AL twice a month to visit my father when I was growing up. The trip was generally 1hr and 15 minutes long. Oddly, I don't have many memories of those trips other than listening to my walkman to pass the time. 

    The three records I listened to almost exclusively on those often emotionally difficult trips were:

    Michael Jackson - Dangerous

    Pearl Jam - Ten

    Guns 'N Roses - Use Your Illusion II



    Between the ages of 8 and 11 these were the records that taught me how to navigate feelings. I don't listen to them as often as I did then. But I know every second of those records as if I had written the music myself. I studied the liner notes over and over and even at that age could have told you the names of not only the players and producers but the engineers and what city their management was based in. Those were days of pure magic. The great sword of rock music made by strangers across the world slaying my dragons and giving me beautiful and wonderful courage. 

    I remember them often and fondly. 

    Comments
  • Favorite Books, Music and Horror Movies of 2013

    1. Woody Allen on Woody Allen by Stig Bjorkman
    2. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay
    3. Love All the People: The Essential Bill Hicks by John Lahr
    4. Dangling in the Tournefortia by Charles Bukowski
    5. Harms Way: Lust and Madness, Murder and Mayhem by Joel-Peter Witkin
    6. War All the Time by Charles Bukowski
    7. The Adventures of Huck Finn by Mark Twain
    8. Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd by Mark Blake
    9. Bone Palace Ballet by Charles Bukowski
    10. The Films of Woody Allen: Critical Essays by Charles Silet
    11. John Dies at the End by David Wong
    12. Woody Allen: A Biography by Eric Lax
    13. No Regrets by Ace Frehley
    14. Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
    15. The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
    16. Pearl Jam Twenty by Cameron Crowe
    17. Vanitas by Joel-Peter Witkin
    18. The Reluctant Film Art of Woody Allen by Peter J. Bailey
    19. The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills by Charles Bukowski
    20. Conversations With Woody Allen by Eric Lax
    21. The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand

    
    
    The songs in italics are my favorites. I highly recommend you follow the links I've provided and purchase them.

    1. Lorde - Pure Heroine (buy)
    (Royals, Team, 400 Lux)

    2. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks (buy)
    (Came Back Haunted, Find My Way)

    3. Duquette Johnston - Rabbit Runs A Destiny
    (buy)
    (Rabbit Runs A Destiny, My Heart Is Breaking)

    4. Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God
    (buy)
    (State of the Art, Actress)

    5. Bob Schneider - Bürden of Proof
    (buy)
    (Best Day Ever, The Good Fight, Weed Out the Weak)

    6. Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
    (buy)
    (Infallible, Pendulum, Sirens)

    7. Courtney Marie Andrews - On My Page
    (buy)
    (On My Page)

    8. Phosphorescent - Muchacho
    (buy)
    (Song For Zula)

    9. The Silver Seas - Alaska
    (buy)
    (Roxy, I'm the One, Alaska)

    10. Lorde - The Love Club EP
    (buy)
    (Swinging Party, Bravado)

    1. You're Next (rent)
    2. American Mary (rent)
    3. Maniac (rent)
    4. Evil Dead (rent)
    5. V/H/S/2 (rent)
    6.John Dies At the End (rent)
    7. Jug Face (rent)
    8. The Lords of Salem (rent)
    9. We Are What We Are
    10. The ABC's of Death (rent)

    Comments