Sunday, February 28, 2010

Joanna Newsom - On A Good Day

Still bummed about the hockey game. I know this is like three posts from this album in two weeks but whatever.

This one slays me every time.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gene Kelly & Donald O'Connor - Moses

Today was our first day of filming for that thing I won't shut up about. For your viewing discomfort, I made a little video of every shot we took today, in the order that we filmed them (out of order for the final product). I then scanned my iTunes for songs of the same length as the video, and ideally ones that would fit, thematically. So here's Moses, from Singin' in the Rain. If you want to watch the original, from the movie, I high recommend it, and it's here. It's a very exciting dance sequence, and my thing, as all dailies are, is boring. But I think it moves to the realm of the hypnotizing. Anyway, whatever, here it is. I'm excited about what I've done today.

Friday, February 26, 2010

R.E.M. - Radio Song

I could do my last Black History Month post about this berserk clip of the Godfather at the Zaire 74 concert (the Rumble in the Jungle festival.) But that seems cliche. So I'll celebrate with the world's weirdest, most incongruous (and, yes, sucky) rap cameo. I'm perfectly happy being the R.E.M. apologist of the group, and I think that even this song has some salvageable elements but when you put it all Just no.

Radio Song

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Captain Beefheart - Grow Fins

There are blues songs about wanting to leave town, or leave the country... there's a tradition of artists who want to go back to the land, or back to the womb ... tortured figures who want to escape society and even history. Beefheart actually wants to go back to the sea...

“Grow Fins” (which you can find here, click on the small orange play button) is like a sequel to “I Wish I Was A Mole in the Ground”:

“It is the awesome, impenetrable fatalism that drives the timeless ballads first recorded in the twenties; songs like Buell Kazee's "East Virginia," Clarence Ashley's "Coo Coo Bird," Dock Boggs' "Country Blues" -- or a song called "I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground," put down by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928. "I wish I was a mole in the ground -- like a mole in the ground I would root that mountain down -- And I wish I was a mole in the ground."

Now, what the singer wants is obvious, and almost impossible to really comprehend. He wants to be delivered from his like, and to be changed into a creature insignificant and despised; like a mole in the ground, he wants to see nothing and to be seen by no one; he wants to destroy the world, and to survive it.”

Greil Marcus – Liner Notes to Bob Dylan & The Band's The Basement Tapes (1975)

Here in “Grow Fins” Beefheart wants to negate the results of millennia of evolution and slip back into the depths of. He wants to abandon the burden of land, the burden of humanity, even the burden of sentience. He wants to destroy the self, and to survive it.

Tell me he doesn’t sound serious. That beat doesn’t sound real to you? That howl sound light? Seen the guy around recently? Heard any albums from him in the last three decades? I think he was serious. I think he’s left this life for something lesser and simpler and better. They say he’s retired to become an artist, but I think he’s fooled us all. I think he’s grown fins.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Joanna Newsom - Baby Birch

Joanna Newsom's "Have One On Me," a staggering triple-disc affair, was released yesterday, and it is an album that rewards patience. Each of the three discs is comprised of six songs over 35-45 minutes, and while there are a few 3- or 4-minute tracks, the bulk of it is folk songs of the 7-10 minute variety. Listening to it as the backdrop for women's curling this weekend, I got nothing more out of it than decent background music. But I gave it my full attention on Monday and again Tuesday, and it knocked me flat out.

The music is what you would expect: Newsom's feathery vocals backed by harp, strings and/or piano, plus a few surprises along the way. All very meticulously and beautifully arranged, but without much interest to chorus, bridge, or what we otherwise know as song structure. There are no pop songs here, but a few of the tracks fall into the more accessible 3-5 minute range. This is not one of those songs.

I had originally upped this song to post, but came back to this one, which is becoming my runaway favorite. But if you like this one, you might try the other.

(Incidentally, when did Joanna Newsom become an incomparable, unparalleled indie goddess? I picked up the album on vinyl today, after getting a demo version from a friend this past week, and I wish I could show you the photos on the liner notes. But I mean, goddamn, you guys. I want to go to there.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

And the work-ups begin...

So I'm engaged now. Yay.

Furthermore, every single plan I had for this entire part of the year was wrecked when I found out the dates for all the at-sea exercises we have between now and the actual float. And since I've had to hear this song every time some new join realized how MEUs deploy, you guys really shouldn't have the option of avoiding this, either. I regret nothing.

By the time this is posted, I actually will be on a boat. The mother. fucking. USS. Peleliu. Again. Fifty bucks says the heads still don't work.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ella Fitzgerald- Azure

I don't know. It's on the Malcolm X soundtrack, I guess, so, um...almost sort of quasi-relevant. But, whatever.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Slowdrive - Allison

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Keith Carradine - I'm Easy

The other day (Dan) and I were talking a bunch about Nashville, and what a terrific film it is. I had just finished reading a book about the production of the movie, and (Dan) had just finished watching the 3+ hr movie twice in one week.
This song, written and performed in the movie by Keith Carradine ("the one from Dexter recently, not the one who jacked his way off to the grave"), won an Academy Award for best original song, the only Oscar it won. I'd say that this song is one of about five songs that deserve such an award, and maybe ten that are extremely pleasant to listen to. I don't want to analyze the song too much because I think I'd end up giving away too much about the movie, but WHEN you watch the movie please note that this song, sung by the character Carradine plays, is playing on a record player in every scene in Carradine's hotel room.
I don't know how long I will be harping on Oscar-nominated songs, but I can promise you that I am not bored of this yet.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sleater-Kinney - You're no Rock and Roll Fun

It occurs to me that I've never posted a S-K song. I've had them queued up several times, but I guess something else always struck my fancy better. Of the four albums of theirs that I own, this one is the weakest, but it's also the first one I bought, and I got it on the strength of seeing this video, probably on 120 Minutes or something. Carrie Brownstein keeps her own music blog for NPR and contributes to "All Songs Considered", which mostly discusses new music and is a podcast that some of you should check out if you never have.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mekons - The Building

Sometimes I walk home drunk and yell this at the houses.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Barton Carroll - Those Days Are Gone and My Heart is Breaking

So Barton Carroll's a local guy, and his stuff makes it onto KEXP here and there. This is the first of his songs I'd heard; it's not as good as "Poor Boy Can't Dance," but it's nice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bill Withers- Everybody's Talkin'

Sort of going off the back of Craig's post from Friday, another 70s soul artist back in the news. Still Bill, a documentary/biography on Withers just came out..Friday, I think, and it's meant to be pretty good. Anyway, here's Withers' take on the Fred Neil joint, from "Just As I Am" (yea, that's the first time someone's ever referred to anything by Fred Neil as a "joint").

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Otis Redding - Satisfaction

"Do you ever post anything other than Otis Redding?"
Sorry guys. Here's the deal. My friend/roommate's ex-girlfriend is visiting town this week, and this is cool because she's cool and everyone loves her. The week following this coming one will see her 26th birthday, and here is the thing: whenever I hear someone's turning an age, I think about who died at that age, and what people had already accomplished by that age, and so on. And guess who died at 26? Otis Redding. Think about yourself and how old you are. Can you ever do what Otis did? None of us fucking will, but the world's better for him anyway.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gil Scott-Heron - The Bottle

So, first of all, how about a moratorium on Yoko Ono for a couple of years? Let's go with that.

Gil Scott-Heron just put out his first album in 16 years - I could've posted the lead single, which I really like. But I wanted to go a little older and a little funkier, and this promo clip is the tits.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yoko Ono - Listen, The Snow Is Falling & Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)

Yoko Ono's music is really odd and interesting. Did you know that.

Here is Don't Worry Kyoko. Hugs to all & to Galaxie 500.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A poem.

This is the second memorial I've written in just a few months. My other grandma -- mom's mom -- passed away early Sunday morning, following years of declining health and a lengthy stay in hospice. She was comfortable at the end, which is all any of us could ask for. Grandpa is still around, and the two saw their 60th anniversary together the previous Thursday.

Grandma, above everything else, fancied herself a comedian, in the "asking any cop, security guard or otherwise uniformed law enforcement officer she encountered to frisk her" kind of vein. She also kept a joke file that became a sort of holy grail in the way she prohibited the grandkids from looking at it. Finally getting access around age 16 made for probably the greatest anti-climax of my youth. I think she'd appreciate this little poem I wrote several years back, inspired by a joke she once told me.


Buttonhole gapes through seams
Sprouting a tousled tail
Like a wispy chest hair.

Mom says if I pluck it,
Two will grow in its place,
Which is why grandma has a moustache.

Grandma doesn’t have buttonholes;
She wears sweaters
And is in love with the bogey man.

He peers through the portholes
On his tip-toes
When grandma plays the piano:

“Marmalade and papa played—”
tink tink
“—and that’s why I’m here.”

I'll close with some Little Brother Montgomery, because if grandma ever could play the piano, it would certainly be boogie-woogie. Embedding is disabled, so you'll have to follow the link.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

John Lennon - Oh Yoko!

Can't stop smiling. Can't wait. She'll be here tomorrow. I know I have a penchant for soundtracks, but this one's been in my head for weeks now. Makes me smile every time, too. See y'all in a week- I like commenting and stuff, but I likely won't be around to see anything til it's my turn again.

Forgive me if it appears I haven't made much of an effort lately, but also understand for awkward types like me, finding your future wife happens, truly, only once in a lifetime.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Handsome (feat Brand Nubian (but not Lord Jamar))- Once Again

I was going to post a Gang Starr track, and then I got off on a Brand Nubian tangent, and then that led to me just going with this. So, yea.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Joanna Newsom - '81

She has a new album due out soon. A triple album. So we will see.

And how about a bonus video!

This is from that guy who does all those silly reenactments and here is the script he is working off of for this one.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ryan Bingham - The Weary Kind

Oscar season's a really big deal for me you guys. It gets me pretty excited and angry, alternating quickly. Of course, a lot of this year's nominees do not deserve the attention they are getting. Last night I watched the Blind Side and it sucked. Here's the song nominated from Crazy Heart, though I think a couple other songs from the movie deserve nominations. Maybe I'll do those later. I like this one a lot, though.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Steinski - Greatest Man Alive (Man's Game mix)

There was a bit tonight on "30 Rock" where Jack Donaghy gave a presentation involving an acronymic declaration (it was "Always Speak Quieter). I kind of half missed it, but it dawned on me later. I'm actually sort of surprised that this movie, and that scene in particular, hasn't been more thoroughly appropriated by hip-hop.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lou Reed - Beginning of a Great Adventure

For Harrys, who is working on shooting a pilot.

Eds: Harry has provided us with Lou's song set to the clip from Harold Lloyd's Safety Last he showed us once at New Years. Watch this thing, it is terrifying and funny and beautiful all at once.

Untitled from Muffin MacGuffin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Descendents - Get the Time

I wanted to go in one of two directions today... Addressing a half-drunk Dan by going with "31 Flavors" by the Shirelles, but it's not my place to try and steal the thunder of a genre already addressed in the past seven days. I try not to do that.

So I went with my occasional "song behind the song" schtick. This one is fun, because the band with the original, as usual, has just as much substance as the band that supposedly ripped the sound. Ok, scratch the supposedly part. This time, however, it's not a style and/or rhythm jack- the guitar melody itself is taken from one song and placed directly into the next, which turned out to be a "new" song on their greatest hits compilation.

Like with the Angels, I'll always listen to Social Distortion, but it's never going to be the same.