Friday, April 30, 2010

Fu-Schnickens - What's Up Doc?

Let's celebrate one of the world's least-beloved vanity rap careers. Shaq's media career has been mostly met with aggressive indifference; the man apparently recorded five rap albums (meaning that the Shaquille O'Neal section at your local record store is exactly as deep as the A Tribe Called Quest section), and his two feature film starring roles are punch lines for hacky comedians the world over. He's clearly a charismatic guy, and hell, Michael Jordan's one big starring credit was a big hit, and that guy's personality is something akin to a rancid hunk of bologna. I think there's something just kind of off-putting about Shaq - the monotone voice, that constant smirk, the jokes that aren't nearly as funny as he (and his sycophantic beat writers) seem to think they are. He's self-aware but almost too self-aware, someone who would never let himself display anything resembling a genuine human emotion. He's kind of the anti-AI (whose vanity rap career never even got off the ground), a man who's just too self-possessed, too in control. He went from precocious man-child to crusty old Brit, without passing through any of the horrible bits of self-doubt in between that define the rest of us.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Radiohead - Idioteque & Bob Dylan - Rocks and Gravel

"''s bleak, my God, I mean, all that Kirkegaard, right? Real adolescent, you know, fashionable pessimism, I mean, the silence, 'God's silence' - OK, OK, I mean, I loved it when I was at Radcliffe, but I mean, allright, you outgrow it, you absolutely outgrow it.'"

"'He was given to fits of rage, Jewish, liberal paranoia, male chauvinism, self-righteous misanthropy, and nihilistic moods of despair. He had complaints about life, but never solutions. He longed to be an artist, but balked at the necessary sacrifices. In his most private moments, he spoke of his fear of death which he elevated to tragic heights when, in fact, it was mere narcissism.'"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Be Good Tanyas - The Littlest Birds

Have you listened to this song recently? Well, even if you have it cannot be a bad thing to listen to it one more time. I will join you in overlistening to this song.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kanye West feat. Syleena Johnson - All Falls Down

Once, in my car, (Dan)'s brother tried to suggest that Kanye West was the opposite of punk (this was used insultingly; (Dan)'s brother strongly believes in the power of punk). Honestly, I am willing to listen to critiques of Kanye, but I think this song is about as punk as radio-played-rap usually gets. It's an entire song devoted to the idea that increasing disposable income and flash among oppressed minorities does not free them from the real systemic problems facing their communities.
Kanye's a weird kind of rapper; his music is so much more thoughtful and introspective than he seems to actually be, based on interviews and the like. "We all self-conscious, I'm just the first to admit it," is an incredible line, suddenly making this song about conspicuous consumption personal. I'd ask punks to revisit this song, I really would.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Breathe Owl Breathe - Baseball Diamond

Doing something a little different today -- here's video I shot from Breathe Owl Breathe's show Thursday, April 15 at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard. It's an OWY and YouTube exclusive!

I'm sure I've championed this plucky folk band from Northern Michigan before, but last week was my first chance to see them live. They opened for Megafaun and Horse Feathers at the Tractor. (I was too lame and an old man to stay for the latter two sets, and so can't offer a report.) You'll hear some chatter through this recording, but overall the reception at the Tractor was pretty strong -- enough that they came back for an encore, a rarity for an opening band (in my experience, at least). Lead singer Micah Middaugh -- whose voice could pass for Bill Callahan on an endorphin kick -- dropped references to Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton into one of his songs, which is a thing that I can love. The show was part concert, part summer camp -- they guided us through the typical clap-and-response but also the wave and a sabertooth-tiger dance that involved sticking your hands to the sides of your face and rolling the index fingers downward to form tusks. It was silly and goofball and altogether wonderful.

I picked up their most recent album on vinyl at the show and have given it a couple playthroughs, and I'm pretty high on it. Their songs take these seemingly mundane slices of everyday life and breathe a heartwrenching honesty into them. I think that's a good way to describe them, is honest, and I would not be surprised if many of their songs were inspired by personal experience, a chance encounter or a childhood memory. And then they also have their songs about sabertooth tigers escaping from glaciers to go out dancing (which itself was probably inspired by a trip to the museum of natural history).

And what's this? A Daytrotter session from three days ago?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Alyn Ainsworth- Where Do I Go

Props if you can pick up where this was sampled (without cheating), but I mostly just dig on the track.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama

I have no idea what I like about this song, but Wanda Jackson's just great.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Neko Case - Deep Red Bells

I'm co-opting this one, since we don't have a song of our own yet; or at least, not a good one. It's 3 years today, if you didn't know.

In the 80's in Tacoma, the Green River Killer was still just a phantom to the young women of the area, a cautionary tale about being picked up by strange men on the highway. Of course, the monster turned out to be a pasty factory worker with a dodgy mustache - he escaped the death penalty by agreeing to cooperate with investigators on the unsolved murders that they couldn't directly pin on him, but he'll never get out of prison and he'll never murder another girl. That fear though, that psychic wound that people like him inflict on their community, that lasts much longer than they do.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman

So many reasons to go with this one:

1. That vurbil dude is cracking me up.

2. This came on the radio when I was driving to work yesterday, and I knew the song but couldn't place the artist, because fuck if I can keep track of 1970s progressive-rock chart-toppers. When the host came on for an air break and said it was ELO, I kind of sank down in my seat a little.

3. It's the other Wilbury!

4. It's an acronym band that sucks!

5. Lou!

6. Need more prog-rock up in this shit.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dr. Dog - Stranger

Ya'll know about Dr.Dog, right? I mean, I've made many attempts to educate you people. So hey, start now if you haven't already.

(I like it.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

I will never tire of seeing hip hop acts on Yo Gabba Gabba

Whatever, this is my favorite thing in the universe.

(and a Mos track to justify it, I guess. with the Love Supreme intro/outro and isht...this sort of sums up a lot of his career, I think, but this works better than some of his other attempts to be a really artsy motherfucker. I mean, the actual track, but...the Love Supreme thing, too. whatever, go watch that Yo Gabba Gabba clip again. straight rockin the jheri curl.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Velvet Underground - After Hours

Why didn't Mo Tucker sing all their songs? This is so sweet, it could be Kimya Dawson, you know?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bessie Smith - St. Louis Blues

Malcolm McLaren ended up forging a slight but interesting second career as a musician in his own right. As someone who latched on to whatever looked to be the hot new thing, he naturally drifted into hip-hop after the dissolution of the Pistols - this song was a minor hit and, more famously, formed the basis for Mariah Carey's "Honey". But this is about him sampling, not being sampled. "About Her" shows up near the end of Kill Bill, it's basically a combination of "She's Not There" by the Zombies and this song, Bessie Smith's version of "St. Louis Blues," featured in the short film of the same name. It's a fascinating little slice of early sound cinema - mostly just an excuse to get Bessie Smith on film, there's some genuine craftsmanship on display, along with some genuine amateurism.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Clash - Gates of the West

Still waiting on Reno to hand over that copy of London Calling.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Little Girls - Earthquake Song

(This was ghost written by Aaron. I'm not really here. I am trying not to be, acors at the risk of looking like the Michael Jordan of OWY... I'm not making any sense. Onward!)

((You know I'll be back to my usual spiel sometime in the future anyway.))

I see that Aaron DID, in fact, channel my spirit a couple weeks ago. Unfornately, for some reason, I guess my avatar was silent for a week.

Nonetheless, I wanted to share the fact that I experienced my first earthquake on Sunday.

Also considered for this post: Ozzy Osbourne's "Thunder Underground," Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations," Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll," George Michael's "Freedom" and Bone Crusher's "Never Scared".

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

David Bowie - Rebel Rebel

My second and last Las Vegas-related post. There was a very nice girl named Sophie who went by the nom de plume "Rebel" and we were all pretty sure she was named after a gas station.

Thursday, April 1, 2010