A Jury of Their Peers

We asked two local musicians to sound off on the latest and greatest from their fellow practitioners.

We know you're tired of hearing snarky music writers rip apart the local music scene. That's why we asked snarky musicians to rip apart the local music scene. Understanding full well that they may never get a free beer in this town again, Ajax Green (guitarist for now-defunct country rockers Granfaloon Bus and heavy metallers Thunderbleed AKA Blind Vengeance, as well as grand poobah of the Internet listserv SF Indie) and MC Chunx of Gravy Train!!!! (Oakland's spazzy rap-punk bitches) took our blindfolded taste test. They listened to an unmarked CD full of the some of the "best" local artists and provided us with their expert opinions.

Matmos -- "Stars and Stripes Forever"

(Björk's favorite technotronic duo reworks John Philip Sousa.)

GREEN: This sounds like what a marching band will sound like in 10 years, when, instead of tubas and big bass drums, the kids are carrying laptops around. Sorry, I meant to say "craptops." Marching band music is retarded anyway. This song is an insult to retarded people.

CHUNX: Disneyland Electrical Parade goes no wave? I get mad when something starts to remind me of my childhood and then gets all experimental on my ass.

Preston School of Industry -- "Get Your Crayons Out!"

(Former Pavement guy makes rambling post-punk with the members of Wilco.)

GREEN: This isn't so bad. I appreciate stupid guitar playing as much as the next guy. Two chords and a squiggly guitar -- I could listen to that for a while (probably two and a half minutes). It reminds me of when Robert Fripp used to get weird on Brian Eno records.

CHUNX: Not offensive, and I liked the psychedelic guitar part at the end. I can picture couples in ringer T's driving cross-country and totally feeling it, then stopping at a motel to have vanilla sex. Not my bag, but not a total drag.

Joanna Newsom -- "Cassiopeia"

(Pixie-voiced chanteuse plucks a harp, sings of flying turkeys.)

GREEN: I am getting tired of hearing nonsingers sing. I guess we have Bob Dylan to blame for that: "I've got something to say! It doesn't matter how grating my voice is!" Is that a kid singing? What's up with the harp? If this is the music they play in heaven then I want to go to hell. I hope it's not Joanna Newsom because I really wanted to like her.

The Cuts - "How Can I Get Through"

(Jangly, snotty '60s-style rock.)

GREEN: This sounds like a Television song. I have no problem with people continuing to write Television songs; hell, Television only wrote, like, 20 good Television songs; there is lots of room for more!

CHUNX: Killer single, and I will put my balls on the line and say that the vocal harmonies totally slay a bitch. I'm a puss-fag at heart, and la la las always get me. Still, though -- there's something about this band that's a little scheisty!

Film School -- "Demo Song"

(My Bloody Valentine fans now sound like Cure fans.)

GREEN: Hey, it's that robot drum beat again! I love that. That spacey reverb guitar has to go, though, only [U2's] The Edge can get away with that, I'm afraid. Is this the Cure? Because it's making me depressed. I don't need help getting depressed! Label this "for teenagers only."

CHUNX: Lately, the Cure depresses me, so

it only makes sense that a Cure knockoff would make me want to set myself on fire. I'm going celibate so I don't accidentally fuck him. (Note to dude: You can still approach me at a party and try me. I'm newly single and always wasted!)

MC Lars Horris -- "Rapbeth (Foul Is Fair)"

(Stanford nerd busting rhymes about William S., dog.)

GREEN: Wow, it only took me two seconds to hate this. It's some undergrad student rapping about Shakespeare? And a shout-out to the Spice Girls? I love a good novelty song, but this is just boring. I would rather fold my socks than listen to this again.

CHUNX: Raps about Shakespeare? Some may say hipster-intellectual, I say a cheap bid for brainer poon! He's whiter than John Tesh in a snowstorm and horny as hell! Good luck, dude!

Train -- "All American Girl"

(KFOG favorite name-checks Patrick Swayze.)

GREEN: This is overproduced happy music. I like happy music, but if you slick something up enough you wipe all the soul out of it. I would like to hear this song as the theme to a bad TV show that I love. If one of my friends played me this, I would make fun of them forever.

CHUNX: Sounds like a major label, Barenaked Ladies kind of quirky/smart dude radio hit. Talkin' 'bout those good ol' American girls. I can't be mad at it, because I'd much prefer hearing this to shit like Staind as I try to squeeze into jeans in the Nordstrom Juniors dressing room.

Citizens Here & Abroad -- "The Voices"

(Hushed vocals! Chugging guitars! Plinking xylophone! Wait, xylophone?)

GREEN: This sounds like a female version of the Strokes, with a little "Total Eclipse of the Heart" melodrama thrown in.

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