Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brainiac - Hot Metal Dobermans

I am pro-Brainiac.

(This one goes out to my buddy Tim, who introduced me to these guys in college. Tim is also the guy who convinced me than Brussels sprouts are really tasty, so your results may vary.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Al Hirt- Harlem Hendoo

This is, like, the twelfth tangent I got on from what I was originally going to do, but whatever, it works.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Tribe Called Quest - I Left My Wallet In El Segundo

The other day I rode my bike down The Strand to El Segundo, and it was really nice, and then I remembered how Eric thought it was so hilarious when I told him El Segundo was a real place and I laughed.

(maybe someone's already posted this. or at least used the tag. oh well. i had come here planning to post some nina because it felt like we were due for some, but since that was covered it was either post some indie stuff that everyone would have been all meh about, or remind everyone about how i thought it was funny when eric thought it was funny that there was a place that had a name that translated to the second. okay.)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nina Simone - I Loves You Porgy

Dag, it's been like three months since I last posted a Nina Simone thing here, but this song has been spending some time in my brain lately.
About a year ago, I saw a one-man show about the life and career of George Gershwin. He discussed how this song was a musical oddity. Something about progressions of notes or something. I dunno. But since then every few months I spend a week just going I loves you PorGEEE. And Nina Simone does these great stutters throughout. I am not selling you on any ideas that are new to you.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nico - Vegas

God bless the Ice Queen, for sparing me from having to post some horrible, generic Sinatra or Elvis song.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Old Table - It's So Hard To Remember

Here is another Westchester friend for you to see if you like. Hopefully you will!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Big Star - O, Dana

Craig covered the Box Tops sound last week, and as the last person on earth to discover Big Star, I thought I'd follow up with this song from their 1978 (and final) album, Third/Sister Lovers.

"I worry whether this is my last life."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Missives from the theater of battle - Act 1 (What's wrong with new music sometimes?)

Let my posts be a conduit for the spirit of Lou to speak through, because really, don't we prefer his company? Yes, we do.

Lou. Lou.

Can you hear me? What message would you have me relay to your loved ones?



Harlem Shakes - Strictly Game
It's just a fun song, what harm is there in that?

Four Tet - Plastic People
Home crafted fan videos are usually insufferable, so it's good to know little has changed. (I kid!)

Bot'Ox - Blue Steel
Wait. It's cars running into stuff in slo-mo? Brilliant!

Band of Skulls - I Know What I Am
Ah, Lou. Your words are made of honey and wisdom, and they nourish me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nujabes - Feather

I know nobody else cares about this but Eric, but yeah, this is really a shame. I liked Big Star plenty, but this was the loss that hit me the hardest this week, by far, because he was just so young. I mean, it's been a few days now since everyone found out, and I still don't know what to say, really. I wanted to post another song today by somebody else since I already posted about this the day the news came out, but I just couldn't bring myself to.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Chords - Sh-Boom

I have a new job, sh-boom, sh-boom.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Box Tops - Cry Like a Baby

I've seen "The Letter" a whole bunch, and the Big Star stuff (and "Alex Chilton," of course) but I don't think I've seen anyone who did this one. Maybe because there just isn't a decent video on youtube but hey, a cat liked this one, so who am I to argue? It's still pretty mind-boggling that that's a teenager singing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Pogues - Streams of Whiskey

I'm not one to tinker with the formula.

(Just make sure it's not Bushmills -- that's Protestant whiskey.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Eclectic Four-Day Farewell.

Something a little different... I'm getting on ship today, again. So can I trust you, Aaron, to take Tuesday's helm? Allow me this slight farewell, since I'm closing in on no time at all to prepare these.

Day 1:

My dad taught geometry. He wasn't going to let me forget.

Day 2:

Well, if it isn't the Forrest Gump of Caesar stories! This scene made me cry, even though it didn't have anything directly to do with Caesar until later in the series.

Nonetheless, this song, while completely unrelated, was covered in a comment I'm sure almost nobody read.

Day 3:

Moving on...

Day 4:

I'm not Irish, but I figured I'd share anyway, since I was only a day off. The following is the one video I had actually planned on posting this time, but a few links got lost along the way, and I'd just as soon go ahead and dedicate another one to my fine fiancee. Who is, in fact, of Irish descent.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jeff Buckly - Yeh Jo Halka Halka Saroor Hai

This is such a weird, fascinating cover. I don't remember when I started, but there was a time when I listened incessantly to Jeff Buckley's Live at Sin-E. I suspect it had something to do with the relative paucity of his recorded works, but I devoured this live album so often I had his onstage banter memorized. ("Uh, this song's for the lovers. I forgot to say before, but all these songs are for the lovers.")
Anyway, he goes on at length about his love of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ("He's my Elvis. I listen to him every day"), whom he worried would become too mainstream if Buckley talked about him too often (HEY JEFF YOU SHOULD HAVE WORRIED THAT LEONARD COHEN'S HALLELUJAH WOULD BE TOO OFTEN COVERED AFTER YOUR ARGUABLY DEFINITIVE VERSION). He then sings this song, urging the audience to "clap like they do in Pakistan."
During my formative years stalking down albums in the White Plains Public Library, I finally found a couple of albums of Nusrat, including one of the various best-ofs that included Yeh Jo Halka. I planned on loving the original version, and being so obscure that I didn't listen to Jeff Buckley; I listened to the music he LISTENED to. But honestly, I wasn't totally into it. It was cool, but it was sort of missing the weird, awkward spirit that embodies Buckley's cover. And honestly, that's how I feel about Hallelujah too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mingus Dynasty - Better Git It In Your Soul

This is the song that always plays in my head when I see Reno's avatar. I forget if we discussed this video and Mike Richmond's awesome 'stache and molester sunglasses, or if I just did that in my head. This was a bunch of guys who played with Mingus, and then formed a cover band after he croaked. I think it's still around, although it's sort of like the Ship of Theseus at this point.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Action Packed - Ronnie Dee

"This charming rockabilly chestnut was later covered by protopunk-turned-whimsician Johnathan Richman." - Pretentious self.

"Hello friends, this one is full of funtimes and huggery." - Friendly self.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat the Devil's Tattoo

Timing is everything with me and music. I consume styles, genres and artists in phases -- not too long ago, I listened to nothing but blues and soul. I haven't played a Dylan record in months; at times I cannot get enough of him. The last six records on my turntable have been somewhere in the Kraftwerk / Brian Eno / Talking Heads continuum. What does this have to do with anything? When Black Rebel Motorcycle Club released their third album, Howl, in 2005, I was right in between a Dylan / The Band / Tom Waits binge and a revitalized interest in new music. That album, with its stripped-down, haunting folk rock, hit a sweet spot for me. It's still one of my favorite albums of the past decade. When they released "Baby 81" a couple years later, I saw it as a return to the form of their first two albums, but with subpar results. It was a disappointing follow-up to Howl, and I sort of let them go at that point.

Until last Friday, when they played the Showbox here in Seattle. A good friend of mine has a gig writing music reviews for an online publication (when his BRMC review goes live I'll link it here); he managed to snag me a +1 and a photo pass to cover the show. I'll let Wes tell the story with his review; for me, it was a reminder of just how great BRMC are as a band. Though they've largely moved on from that Howl sound, it's hard for me to think of a better blues rock band out there today. Maybe The Black Keys. But I'll take Black Rebel against The White Stripes every single day of the week. They even have a lady drummer. A LADY DRUMMER, LIZ LEMON!

(I do have to say, though, that the stuff they played from Howl received the warmest reception of the night.)

As for the photo assignment, it was a great learning experience. I've never shot in those lighting conditions before (for the most part I was shooting with a zoom lens, sans flash, from the back of the club), so I was kind of at the will of the stage lighting. The photos you see here are my own; I've put up a small gallery here. Out of about 150 shots taken, I got maybe 20 that I'd call presentable, nine of which made it into the gallery. But it was a lot of fun, and I hope to do it again some time.

So, the music. I'll close with a couple tracks from their new album, "Beat the Devil's Tattoo," which I'm pretty high on. Here's the album opener and title track, shot live at THE VERY SHOW I WAS AT:

(The mix is terrible, and that is the Showbox's fault; here is the album version.)

And here's the album version of "The Toll," which could be an outtake from Howl:

(I told you guys Matt Bouldin looks like that dude.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Tallest Man On Earth - A Lion's Heart

i listened to this non-stop all week. it's so good.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Fall - L.A.

Turns out today is Mark E. Smith's birthday. And the "this is my happening and it freaks me out" line is from the legendary, Ebert-penned Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Want to Go Home - Johnny Cash

It's barely been 10 days, and this is the feeling I'll inevitably have (I finally caught the smarts and started preparing ahead of time instead of losing days as is the habit when you're on some sort of pre-honeymoon thing)...

Found this while searching for a copy of the Beach Boys version. Hmm...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gang Starr- Words I Manifest

So, Guru's in a coma, and it's pretty fucking awful. He was going to undergo surgery today, I guess, but I don't know any new details on any of that. But, yea, here's one of Gang Starr's first singles.