Lucid Culture


White House Mulls Deal With News Corp

The LC Wire has learned from a senior administration official that Rupert Murdoch’s company, News Corp., is currently negotiating a deal with the Bush administration for the purchase of the United States. The official stated, “Both the Bush administration and Rupert Murdoch have long shared the belief that a country is most prosperous when run as a corporation and when reflecting on the difficulties this administration has faced in its 6 years, a meeting between Bush and top Cabinet officials concluded this end could best be achieved if the US were actually owned by a corporation.” When asked by the LC Wire whether this would stand up to scrutiny in the courts, the official responded, “Given the favorable rulings the courts have given on Corporate law in recent years, the Administration is confident that such a merger would be upheld, even by the Supreme Court.”

When News Corp was reached for comment, the head spokesman for the company stated, “This is a boon for both the American people and the investors in News Corp.” When queried over concerns about the debt to profitability ratio currently enshrouding the US economy, he continued, “This was an area of concern from the get go. But our top corporate raiders have devised a number of proposals to address both the current debt faced by the US and the stagnant areas of its economy. We have been in negotiations with the five remaining national banks in the US who have agreed to form a conglomerate. With the restructuring of US bankruptcy law in recent years, it will then be possible for this conglomerate to administer a ‘debt prison’ system. Most lower and middle class Americans and their families will fall under their jurisdiction. This will allow us to create a huge pool of slave labor by which we can make American products competitive once again on the international market. Further, as this “debt prison” system will likely reduce the average lifespan of “debt prisoners” below the retirement age it will be possible to eliminate the Social Security and Medicare systems and replace them with a ‘slave bond’ program covering wage earners outside the “debt prison” system. These upstanding citizens will have 15% of their earnings invested each year in “slave bonds” to be administered by the banking conglomerate. Upon maturity these “slave bonds” will insure that upstanding citizens will have enough funds to live a comfortable retirement.” He added, “We are also considering outlawing vagrancy which will bring most of the non-working poor under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. This dramatic increase in prisoners will create a large economic sector for the employ of the working poor as prison guards and policemen. It will also serve to continually replenish our military stock which will be integral to defending News Corp’s interests around the globe.”

When the LC Wire inquired as to how these proposals would attain Congressional approval, the spokesman stated, “News Corp has invested a lot of money over the years in Congressional politics. Both the Republican Party and the DLC are now wholly owned subsidiaries of News Corp. We don’t anticipate any problems. In fact Senators Biden and McConnell have already introduced bi-partisan legislation in the Senate to enact some of these proposals in the “America Works Act of 2007”. We expect similar legislation to be introduced in the House shortly.”

Moments after the conversation with the News Corp spokesman, the LC Wire received a short press release from Rupert Murdoch himself stating, “I think the United States can become a very properous division of News Corp. The arms, energy and pharmaceutical sectors are performing remarkably well, and our proposals to shore up the stagnant areas of the US economy are remarkably solid and far-sighted. I’m sure that News Corps investors will see wonderful dividends from this acquisition.”

The White House has scheduled a press briefing tonight presumably outlining the details of the merger.

May 1, 2007 Posted by | snark | 5 Comments

Album Review: Sousalves – Spirit of NYC Woman

Incendiary, twisted, quintessentially New York rock from one of its better guitar-wielding denizens. Paul Alves AKA Sousalves plays all the instruments here except the drums, slashing and scratching out a wired, distorted, strung-out concoction that sometimes eerily resembles legendary French rockers Noir Desir (whose frontman Bertrand Cantat murdered his girlfriend in a coke-fueled rage). There’s some vintage Gun Club somewhere in there, too, it seems. Sousalves likes minor keys, percussive riffs where the guitar doubles the rhythm of the drums, and the occasional evil chromatic hook. The whole album has a hallucinatory, 5 AM, out-too-late, out-of-control feel. It opens with a dirty instrumental passage that segues into Silver Shoes, which could be Noir Desir…or could be early Midnight Oil, from the days when they were a metal band. The cd’s title track features another notable Lower East Side denizen, Deborah Sassiver, playing Nico to Sousalves’ Lou here, adding layers of eerie,watery vocals to this cut and several others as well. The album’s next cut Passin Thru begins with a tinkling arpeggio played on what sounds like a koto, building to a titanic yet impressively terse, feedback-infused guitar solo before fading back to quiet again. The following track Tail Another Chase is as predictably warped as the title would imply, driven by a pounding chromatic riff. After that, Making It Happen takes it down a notch for a couple of minutes before reverting to the percussive fire of the rest of the album.

There’s ostensibly a video of Sousalves playing a live acoustic version of the next cut, Dance Tango, circulating on the internet somewhere: that’s a good thing, because this electric version strangely doesn’t have the hypnotic intensity of the unplugged take. The next song Painted It Black appeared on Sousalves’ previous ep …To Self and sounds something like what the Red Hot Chili Peppers would have done if they weren’t so interested in being rock stars. The highlight of the album, End of Your Rainbow reverts to a scorched-earth, nouveau Noir Desir fury, the odd tempo and ascending progression of the bridge exploding into its killer chorus. Sousalves closes the cd with a couple of hypnotic tracks, Waiting to Kiss You For Days which builds to a Jefferson Airplane-esque funk groove, and the quieter Meridians, with its neat trick ending. It’s a cliché but they really don’t make rock like this much anymore: fans of late great bands like the Chrome Cranks, Honeymoon Killers and Knoxville Girls will love this. Caveat – this album won’t really sound good unless you play it loud.

Sousalves plays the cd release for this album at Midway (the old Guernica space) at 10 PM on Tues May 1.

May 1, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Album Review: Willie Nile – Streets of New York

His best album. Some critics have called it his London Calling: a better reference point would be Sandinista, given how New York-obsessed the Clash were on their final masterpiece. This cd – Willie Nile’s sixth full-length album, released midway through last year – finds the NY underground rock eminence grise at the top of his game and the peak of his career, 25 years after he started, when Vagabond Moon was the #1 song of the year in Norway. Yeah, Norway. The folks stateside got it for awhile – just listen to the audience on Nile’s Archive Alive album, recorded in front of thousands in Central Park in 1981– but the corporations didn’t. No great surprise.


Nile’s trademark is the Big Rock Anthem, filled with Big Catchy Hooks, and this album is replete with them. It’s two-guitar, four-on-the-floor meat-and-potatoes R&R, with a nod to the Who, a wink to Dylan and a big high-five to vintage, Darkness on the Edge of Town-era Springsteen, seen through the skewed prism of early 80s new wave.  Good stuff. Mellencamp (and Mary Lee’s Corvette) lead guitarist Andy York is Nile’s not-so-secret weapon here, leading the jackhammer assault with an uncommon mastery of tones and textures – Twin Turbine fans will dig this record. The rhythm section of Brad Albetta (also of Mary Lee’s Corvette) on bass and Rich Pagano on drums kicks ass; the melody guy and the rhythm guy lock in and push this sleek, powerful vehicle to the limit.


The cd kicks off with the stomping Welcome to My Head, a surreal blast of West Village imagery. The album’s most obvious choice for a radio hit is Game Of Fools, which sounds like the Wallflowers. Ridiculously catchy, the lyrics of the verse firing like a Gatling gun right up to Nile’s trademark killer chorus. Nile’s requisite long Irish ballad (he has a fondness for these) is The Day I Saw Bo Diddley in Washington Square, featuring none other than Jakob Dylan on harmony vocals. The sad, towering anthem Fading Flower of Broadway reportedly brought York to tears when Nile first played it for the band: it’s a ruefully gorgeous Times Square mise-en-scene, set in an era before Disney came through and wiped it off the map.


Another standout track is Cell Phones Ringing (In The Pockets Of The Dead), lyrically the most Dylanesque of all of them. With its cleverly phased noise guitar solo and tricky false ending, it reminds of the explosive, percussive power of Nile’s 1980 FM radio hit Old Men Sleeping on the Bowery. The last 30 metal-melting seconds of this song, a scorching evocation of the Madrid train bombings, alone justify the price of the album (although the same could be said for the paint-peeling vindictiveness of The Best Friends Money Can Buy, a delirious blast of derision at the trust fund crowd).


It’s also nice to hear Nile – who began his career as a keyboardist and remains a potent player – featured on piano here, especially on the overtly Blonde on Blonde-inflected piano/organ shuffle Back Home and on the album’s title track, a Jungleland-esque ballad that closes the album on a gorgeously climactic note. For not only is this a great rock record, it’s a piece of history: the places Nile immortalizes here will soon be gone. Mamoun’s Falafel? Soon to be replaced by a Starbuck’s and luxury condos upstairs, no doubt. That is if they don’t raze the whole building. Get this album if you have any affection whatsoever for this city and what it used to be or know anyone who does. CD’s are available in better record stores, online and at shows. Nile is no dummy: he doesn’t play that many live shows in NYC anymore, so there’s always a full house when he does, watch this space.

May 1, 2007 Posted by | Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments