Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Avett Brothers - The Day That Marvin Gaye Died

I hope that by today we're keeping with what I believed to be a theme on Tuesday, when I wrote this post SHH KEEP IT A SECRET THAT I DO THIS SOMETIMES. The Avett Brothers are kind of getting big now, in the form of being played in Starbucks all the time, but I think I was introduced to them by a friend of mine out of Oklahoma, who kept ALMOST hanging out with them. I hope it's not too late for me to still be into them?
"I should have told you we were in love."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Elvis Costello - Less Than Zero

This one goes out to Nick Griffin, who had a much publicized appearance on the BBC's "Question Time" last week and came across, according to general consensus, like a doughy-faced baby who also hates brown people and homos and Jews. (The Mr. Oswald mentioned in the song is Oswald Mosley.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little Walter - My Babe

I'm sorry if this is late, but I've been almost alarmingly happy today. And so what if we've gone sad this week. Really today was fabulous, & so's this.

(Mute Joe Buck and put on something cool instead. I've got some collected Ennio Morricone going on here, and I think I'm going to have a whisky and cider.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leonard Cohen - Diamonds in the Mine

So we're doing melancholy this week, which is something that Leonard Cohen does better than most. But not so much here in this track from "Songs of Love and Hate." Guess which category this one falls under?

(I should add my inspiration here is twofold: 1) I picked up this album on vinyl a couple months ago; 2), and primarily, I just found / downloaded a great newly released (but not so new) Leonard live album.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lou Reed - Perfect Day

One everybody knows. And Eric may have indirectly started a theme for this week.

I was trying to compile a list of the most depressing songs that have ever tickled my eardrums. And amidst this, a genius of a friend made the glorious observation:

"Beez, you listen to some really depressing shit."

I asked the question for him, basically... "How do you bottle up these negative emotions you draw from this music and project such a sunny disposition?"

Easy... I'm saving it all for the best time to let it go. God help the world.

Thought you all might enjoy the Boyzone cameo.

P.S. - I found Emmylou Harris astonishingly hot in this video. Holy shit.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blu- Just Another Day

I've raved on this dude before, but this is some early, pre-Exile shit that I hadn't heard 'til recently. So, here you go.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

El Perro Del Mar - God Knows

Hey everybody!

This is a song by Sarah Assbring that I like. Cool!

Ha'fa nice day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fiona Apple - Tymps

She's crazy, right? Isn't that the thing about her? Well anyway this song is off of Extraordinary Machine, an album that she shelved because she hated, then fans whined about it so much she re-produced it (leaving some tracks with the original Jon Brion production) and released it and it's awesome. This is my favorite song from it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Suicide - Shadazz

I haven't the faintest idea why the person who made this video paired together this song with that film clip but why the fuck not.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Muddy Waters - She's Nineteen Years Old

This one's got a big finish, you have to hear the end. (You have to hear the end at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Warren Zevon - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

Warren Zevon isn't a particularly difficult find on vinyl -- I bought Excitable Boy for $5 at Easy Street, and self-titled for a dollar at Goodwill. If I had more ambition, I'd compare and contrast him with then-labelmate Tom Waits, both of whom appeared on Asylum in the mid-to-late 1970s. For a Dylan connection, I'll go with: 1997's Time Out of Mind is named for a lyric from "Accidentally Like a Martyr" from Zevon's Excitable Boy.

I'm not a huge Zevon acolyte, but I like him, and I don't think he gets much better than this song. The video here is Zevon's final live performance; he died of lung cancer in 2003.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Madlib-Slim's Return

This is off an album called "Shades of Blue", which is basically just sort of nice remixes of Blue Note tracks. The track uses "The Book of Slim" by Gene Harris & The Three Sounds, and throws in some other samples ("Sound of the Police", for example). Here you go.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nina Simone - Mississippi Goddam

This song actually reminds me of two important songs: "That Old Black Magic," as sung by Sammy Davis Jr, and Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome." The former because Nina has Sammy's tendency (or Sammy has Nina's tendency) of inserting these excellent asides into their songs; before launching into the crescendo that ends his song, Sammy announces: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch...," in Nina's case, it's possibly the greatest note in music history, "This is a show tune, but the show hasn't been written for it yet."
The way it resembles "Welcome to the Terrordome" is that the thing we often forget about Public Enemy is how great a rapper Chuck D is. We already know that Public Enemy's songs are incendiary and smart, but "Welcome to the Terrordome" reminds us that the dude can spit hot fire (much like the five greatest rappers of all time; Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, and Dylan).
"Mississippi Goddam" was a big deal in its time as a protest song, but it also just totally rocks. Nina Simone's fucking awesome, the end.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Style Council - Shout to the Top

Is there a time and a place which is inexplicably romantic to you? Like, early-70's New York, when the city had gone to pot and had become generally a pretty dangerous place is one of those places for me. Intellectually I know it'd be a terrible place to live but I still can't help but think of it in romantic terms. I'm not talking about the greeting card Woody Allen version of social-climbing Jews going to see French films and then back to their midtown apartments to drink wine and discuss existentialism, I'm talking about the seedy, vicious place from Taxi Driver and The French Connection, full of pimps and thieves and people who'd just as soon shoot you as look at you.

Another one of those places is early-to-mid-80's London. After the self-immolation of punk, in the midst of Thatcherism and the pockets of neo-fascism it dragged along with it. When the cultural gifts that London gave to the world were whatever mid-tempo R&B songs Stock Aitken Waterman had vomited up this week. Part of it is the fact that gentrification hadn't completely absorbed London yet, so the working classes were still (if barely) hanging on in the city. But I guess maybe what I really romanticize is the idea of living in a World Capital that's at a low ebb in terms of its broader impact on the culture, because it's a place where anything is possible, and where if you can hang on you know things can only get better.

This is a song by the fairly execrable Style Council, although it's pretty decent by their low standards. It's bland and MOR and totally sounds like mid-80's London.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No One and the Somebodies - Bike

The legendary Westchester band, four brothers and dear to us all. Noise-punk, jazz-punk, waltz-punk, I don't know.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Velvet Underground - Lady Godiva's Operation

The John Cale last week got me to thinking that we've featured songs by both founding members of the Velvet Underground, but nothing from their band.

So here they are, teaming up on vocals in this whirling terror from White Light / White Heat.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bob Marley and the Wailers- Burnin' and Lootin

(yea, no real ideas for today, but I (re)watched La Haine last night, you go)

The Evolution of "Wild Thing"

Maybe I should have waited a couple months, considering the title... But that's irrelevant now.

That drew... Getting me on a Condo Fucks/Troggs trip. I ended up picking up a Troggs record last time I was out and about on payday. And this latest little indulgence into music history is the result.

So's, the original was written by Chip Taylor circa 1965 and recorded first by The Wild Ones in the same year.

We all know how well The Troggs did in '66, moving then to Monterey Pop where Jimi Hendrix added his obviously acid-fueled twist on the song before setting his guitar on fire.

Most notably for me, though, isn't the Major League rip by X.

It's this, the point to which the decade of the 80s allowed this song to fully degenerate.

(I still like it.)

Where's the song now? In the hands of one Prince, disturbing the very fabric of space and time like he always does.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Elton Motello - Jet Boy Jet Girl

I heard this song for the first time as the pre-show music at an awesome concert, and that has definitely made it more endearing for me. But also, I really enjoy the way the song sort of skates the edge of sexual violence to a degree that makes me uncomfortable. This is maybe not what was intended, but I think it really makes you think about what can be considered consent. ANYWAY ENJOY IT'S A PARTY.

Friday, October 9, 2009

John Cale - Fear is a Man's Best Friend

It's kind of a shame that the other people don't get involved here - they all get together for "Ship of Fools," but I don't think that's as interesting of a song. It's also too bad that he tends to play this one without drums, because it's got a kick-ass drum break. But anyway, here's John Cale, with some special friends looking on, playing my favorite John Cale song.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rex Griffin - The Last Letter

How am I going to get you to listen to a country song from straight-on nineteen and thirty-seven? Well, Rex Griffin does come with the Dylan stamp of approval. Today's song is one of those several scattered songs from our past that Dylan borrows a melody from - see if you can place it.

The song is The Last Letter, and it is clear and sad and quiet. It is a contained calm pocket of despair. Put it on and sit there and let it seep into you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bill Withers - Grandma's Hands

My grandmother passed away last week, before dawn Thursday. This news did not come as a great surprise -- her health had been failing in the past few years, and particularly in recent months. I had spoken with my dad just the night before she went, and he had said that my grandma -- his mom -- wouldn't be here much longer. This was a woman who was born in 1915 in Peru, Nebraska, who spent the years of the Great Depression as a young adult, attending nursing school in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Who married in Springfield, Mo., and not until 1944, a few months before her 29th birthday, and who raised four children, had 13 grand-children, 16 great-grandchildren.

My mother's parents lived hours away by car, but Grandma Roush lived in the next town over. In my childhood, particularly in the first ten years, hers was "grandma's house." And as I grew into adulthood, she never seemed to change -- her stoic but loving personality never wavered, and her mind remained clear and sharp. She was already into her 70s when I first knew her, and for more than two decades of my life, she simply was. It got to be that, even as her health began to fade in recent years, when a birthday would roll around, I'd count one more year down to 100. I wasn't under any illusion that my grandmother would live forever, and yet I have never known another person with such an unwavering strength. She was a constant, for so many years. Her service was yesterday, and we gathered as a family to say goodbye, and also to celebrate a life fully lived.

Now, my grandma was not known as much of a music fan, apart from a few church hymns, but I wanted to dedicate my day to her. Rest in peace, grandma.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Melpo Mene - I Adore You

This one is for Benne, since he is adored.

A charming enough song, from yet another Swedish singer with a thing for dreamy folk music. It is cute, but then the cracks start to show. Wait, is this just an ad for Louis Vuitton? Well, sort-of, at least the video is a clip from a show sponsored by Vuitton by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who's probably best known for the terribly NSFW piece 'My Lonesome Cowboy', which sold for $15.2 Million. I can only assume someone was sent to pick it up for the buyer, its just not the kind of piece you allow yourself to be photographed with.

So there you go, Benne, anime and cute folk music.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Tribe Called Quest- Scenario

It was playing out of someone's speakers as I walked to class this morning, which was a pretty nice start to the day. And so here you go.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home

This was what I did during the past week, was listening to this album.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Focus - Hocus Pocus

Oh dear God please let this work. I'm forgoing my posting privileges for Tuesday to make room for this impromptu face-melting moment of glory in my lifetime. (I think I'm just still coming down from the liquor/wine drunk from last night and dancing with Mexican girls half my height, but ah well.)

(Also, MuchoSucko is being stupid, so I've waited on YT to stop being stupid too and posted it from there.)

Hole - Celebrity Skin

I just got out of seeing Whip It, which I found a tremendously good time and also made me cry a bunch shut up you guys. The only complaint I had was that the entire soundtrack was not done by Hole.
We have a tendency to recall Courtney Love as the devil on Kurt Cobain's shoulder, left behind to wander the earth making terrible decisions like an unraveling id. While that's not entirely inaccurate, to gloss over her music would be a mistake. I find Hole to rock pretty seriously hard, and also carry some Feminist Themes, which is what I am so all about. When do we get a Courtney Love avatar, you guys?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Beatles - Helter Skelter

Their new Rock Band game just came out. Whatever. I'd play it if someone had it.

Susan Atkins just died. In Vincent Bugliosi's book, she easily comes out as the second worst human being, with only Manson being more despicable. I don't really care about this bitch either.

No, I want to talk about Roman Polanski. If you were going to make a movie about a fictional artist who is constantly suffering, you might start with having him escape the Holocaust. Then he might leave Communist Poland. And then, and this shit would probably be rejected as just too ridiculous, you could have his wife and unborn child brutally butchered for some insane, random reason. Then you'd come up with an ending, I don't know, maybe he kills himself and the audience leaves the theater wanting to slit their wrists, or maybe after a long period of mourning he meets someone else and has a child and wins an Oscar and becomes beloved but never forgets those who he lost. But here's what you wouldn't do - you wouldn't have him turn out to be a disgusting old lech who, one night, plies a 13-year-old girl with quaaludes and champagne and then rapes her. And then he flees to Paris to escape justice, becomes part of the intelligentsia there and makes a series of mostly so-so movies since he's cloistered away from Hollywood money and influence. Because you'd lose the audience's sympathy, and what would be the point of that?

Yeah, fuck that guy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Fall - Gut of the Quantifier

The hell it is the fall of a sudden in New Paltz, so, time for jackets, The Fall, & strutting. Conflation of the band & the season isn't even my pun, but I have been walking around with this thing in my head, which is just about saying "I own this town" right here.

If you are new to The Fall, every song is the same (cf. John Peel) - this crazy man raves over some cottdamn grooves and it is the Stomp.

N.B. next week we will try for our 3rd consec. Camus tag. There might be even more old links associated.