Friday, July 31, 2009

New Order - Love Vigilantes

We all love Joy Division to some degree or other, but I'll be the New Order defender of the group. They're....good enough, and a couple of their albums are, if not indispensable, at least worth having. I mean, what could they do - this isn't like the Jam, where Paul Weller deliberately pulled the plug so he could make terrible MOR pseudo-R&B for middle-aged white women. These guys picked up the pieces the best they could. They occupy a unique place in rock (off the top of my head, the only band I could think of with a semi-similar history is Pink Floyd, but there isn't quite the same dichotomy between the critical and fan reception of the pre-crazyhouse version and the post-crazyhouse version.) I've mentioned before that I think Bernard Sumner is one of the worst lyricists in rock but this is actually a pretty good one, strong enough that that Iron and Wine guy has covered it acoustically (I have no idea how people feel about that guy. Seems pretty boring to me, but then again I think all that sort of stuff is boring.) They did basically achieve the fame that Joy Division deserved, and they've charted a shitload of singles in England, but they've only ever been to #1 once, with the English football version of the Super Bowl Shuffle.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Burnin' Streets

Driving song of the week, courtesy of old burned copy of Streetcore found in glove. Damn if this one didn't die at 50. Light and shoutalongy. Aches rips.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Maldives - Tequila Sunday

So, The Maldives are another of the many folk-rock bands to come out of the Seattle area. Unlike the Fleet Foxes, standard-bearers for the movement, The Maldives play a more muscular brand of country-rock. This is the single off a recently released EP as well as an upcoming full-length. And it is pure sex.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Status Quo - Lonely Night

Yes, yes it's true. Grumble all you want. I'm here, I'm clear- deal with it.

And I had to think long and hard on this one, too. Lest I post some poor-sound-quality Stale Fashion live outtakes.

Anywho, I'm sure if you had even a slight spark of interest of some of the things I discovered on deployment, The Angels, Australian rock band whose popularity was anticipated to rival that of AC/DC back in the 70s, did have one Australian beer song that has stood the test of time and rang out in the ears of one Goat. sailing the high seas.

I perused some of the comments on the youtube videos for "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again"... And much to my chagrin, I discovered that it wasn't an original. Something I had perceived to be so beautiful could be mercilessly hijacked from another band's repertoire.

It's just as repetitive, but something about the more subtle guitar melody seems to work. I'll never not like the Angels version of this song, but I'll never listen to it the same way again.

Souls of Mischief- Cab Fare

Still awesome. Not particularly spectacular lyrics over a "ha, what the fuck?" sample? Yes, please. Also, this is the most east coast(ish) track by a west coast act from this era.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Billy Bragg - Levi Stubbs' Tears

I have been on a bit of a Billy binge lately.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Juelz Santana - Freaky

This is maybe a little bit of a goofy choice, but I really enjoy this song, a track off of Juelz Santana's otherwise unimpressive "What the Game's Been Missing!" My love for the song, actually a bit like the early Yusuf song I posted, stems from one line in particular:
Now how many chicks in this bitch like dick?
How many dudes in this room like poon?

Other than the very loose rhyme scheme here, I think it sets a good tone for the song that Juelz not just interested in getting himself laid; he wants to get everyone laid. He's a bit of a hip-hop Yenta, checking to see that the ladies in his vicinity like dick and the dudes around like poon, making them all a presumably good match for each other. Anyway, I just think it's a pretty fun jam, and that's about all.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Ink Spots - I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire

Sorry to go old-timey two days in a row, but I didn't have a backup plan. Anyone who's played Fallout 3 will recognize this one as its unofficial theme song (what is it about old-timey music that works so well with apocalyptic scenarios

Some writer did a Michael Jackson piece, not a hagiography but an honest assessment, and he mentioned the Ink Spots as something of a prototype African-American boy band. But of course, they sound completely white. I would guess that most people know the Ink Spots from "If I Didn't Care" and I would also guess that a lot of those people don't know that they're black. I mean, Fats Domino sounds like a black guy when he sings, but it's hard to appreciate what that means and why it was so unnerving to some people unless you listen to the Ink Spots first. But anyway, racial politics aside, I just really like this song.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along

This is some 1920s novelty song (if you couldn't tell that by the title), and all the period versions on youtube are sort of charmingly old but have these terrible chirping sound effects. (Given the state of recording at the time, does that mean that someone was poking at some parakeet through little bars at the appropriate beats? Sawdust on the floor. A man has a microphone.)

The song is given a haunting quality which has stayed with me in Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 film The Conversation. Gene Hackman is a surveillance man, wiretapping and spying on a couple's discussion and returning to try to solve its clues throughout the movie. The girl half-sings half-recites this song, which becomes a sad repeated symbol of innocence. It's a beautiful, sad, and paranoid movie, and much more resonant than the Godfathers which bookended it. There's also one impossibly terrifying scene, and John Cazale, Robert Duvall, and Harrison Ford.

I couldn't find that version, or any sad one, but I did find a couple nice jazzy takes by Doris Day and Louis Armstrong.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gil Scott-Heron - Whitey on the Moon

I'll pick up the moon-landing anniversary theme, a couple days late.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Joe Chambers- Mind Rain

I'm having a pretty weird day, and I don't really want to think about this right now. I may edit this/add another thing before the day is over, but here's something in case I don't have time. You may or may not recognize the sample from Nas' New York State of Mind, at a few different points during track.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sour - Tone Of Everyday

Okay, so I am posting this more for the video than the song. But I have found myself enjoying the song too.

Semi Precious Weapons - Semi Precious Weapons

I think this is a good song, by a New York band my sister got me into. I have occasionally actually met the band members to the degree that they recognize me. BRAGGING. If you want to know more about my interactions with the band. I highly recommend seeing them live. Tired.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Teenage Fanclub - Is This Music?

Man, this album smells like the early-90's. It's dressed in Hypercolors, eating Bagel Bites and watching the first season of "Friends". It's probably most famous (or infamous) for being Spin magazine's album of the year in 1991 instead of "Nevermind" or "Out of Time". It's pretty dated-sounding, but I think this song still holds up, maybe because there's none of their wussy-ass sensitive guy early-90's vocals.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nice at Home - Man for himself

This is by a lo-fi / experimental / noise outfit from Zagreb, Croatia called "Nice at Home." The album is "Visitor," and there's quite a bit of it that I don't really like. But there are some good moments throughout, like in the frenetic, Dan Deacon-esque track here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Girl Talk - Smash Your Head

This is a tough song to post. Lately I have been listening to a TON of Girl Talk, and I find his stuff works best as complete albums. Even though it's schizophrenic mashups in a way that sounds more like a bad parody of mashup music, his stuff completely works and his albums have thematic and musical arcs over the course of albums that make them deeply satisfying to listen to. I've been trying to figure out a way to recommend his stuff here, and I picked a track that I think may help convince any non-believers. While I think the whole song works well, I actually really love it starting at about 1:30, when it's actually acting as a fairly simple and straighforward mashup between two really good songs, but shows why Girl Talk is as big a deal as he is. By the end of the song you feel like you've always known the way these tunes relate, and it's difficult to separate them in your mind.
Incidentally, one of my favorite thing about Girl Talk is he gives you just enough of each song he uses to make you feel like you've just listened to all your favorite songs, but somehow it didn't take as long as it should. Anyway, comment away. I think he's great.
Oh, and incidentally, I'm pretty impressed by the person who puts these videos together. I think they do a pretty decent job, considering the challenge.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mississippi John Hurt - Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me

So, as promised, here's a fresh new track from a hip young artist called Mississippi John Hurt!

And, hey, I read somewhere that he used the melody from "Waiting for a Train," so we're on theme!

Mississippi John Hurt - Let the Mermaids Flirt With Me

(I had to use the same trick as in Daniel's post, so kindly use the player on the right and not the wanker youtube video in the center.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nat King Cole - Pretend

The best version I could find online is on lastfm (use the player on the right, not someone's poorly done video in the center). It's a curious, gilded song, with a bitter ironic core made beautiful by Cole's perfectly soothing voice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ray Charles by way of the Huxtable clan - Night Time is the Right Time

I wasn't feeling very creative, so I just went ahead and did the word association game with current events. I was thinking about Steve McNair, how he was a graduate of an HBC, which always makes me think about Hillman College, the fictional HBC that was Cliff and Clair Huxtable's alma mater. It's more or less supposed to be Hampton University, which is where Booker T. Washington went to school. Aaaaanyway, this is all just an excuse for me to post this video, and knock out our second Cosby reference in less than a month. To this day, I can't hear this song without picturing Rudy singing the Margie Hendricks parts.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

God Help the Girl - Musicians, Please Take Heed

Well, this one was on that mix I posted earlier, maybe you'll like it,
maybe you'll ignore it. *shrug*

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mos Def ft. Slick Rick- Auditorium

Alright, here's something pretty new. Off "The Ecstatic", which I'm quite fond of.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Old Crow Medicine Show - Wagon Wheel

I always thought America would sound like rehashed Dylan songs, yup.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan - You Are My Sunshine

So, happy fourth of July, everyone. Here's a goofy little pick. I'm posting it because of the date. Former President of America Jack Stanton used to say that this was "the most American song I know." I don't know that I disagree, but he was the president, you guys. I got the version sung by two men whose careers could never have been possible outside of this country, but were also often its most vocal critics. AND THAT'S WHAT AMERICA'S ALL ABOUT YOU GUYS. FAKE PRESIDENTS, MUSICAL APPROPRIATION, AND PRISON CONCERTS.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Replacements - Date to Church

Can't think of a better way to start our post-eulogy week than with the Mats in full "fuck it" mode, assisted by a certain well-known crooner. This is the B-side on the "I'll Be You" single.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Pogues - Body of an American

Let us eulogize this long week of eulogies, and be triumphantly done with them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tom Waits - Train Song (live)

Moving on from the remembrances (I'm assuming Aaron went with some MJ, but I am writing this on Monday and could be wrong.), I wanted to draw our train survey to a close.

It is probably the least inspired of my selections, but of course I had to post this song. The clip is from his concert film "Big Time," which I have not seen, although I did purchase the accompanying album in a little record store in Ljubljana about a year ago. Trains, travel and the music of Tom Waits always make me nostalgic. For me, this one is the intersection of all three.

(Critics should note this is the first Tom Waits song I've posted since the inaugural post of this blog.)