Happy New Year, peeps!

2008 is looking up, musically...at least. Hopefully some US dates will follow. Like Coachella, which is only a few hundred miles away from me, as opposed to a several thousand. Anyways, my fingers are crossed. More music here, for the uninitiated. Click the pic to check the official site. Also, check out To Here Knows Web.

My Bloody Valentine > Map Ref 41N 93W


Sometimes, love comes as a surprise

Well, after being unsure of whether I would post again in 2007, I have returned. I have all this time off, don't have to go back to work until the 2nd, and I've been contemplating a road trip, even if only for a couple days. You know, just to go somewhere, anywhere...get outta town. However, I am still here for the time being, and I've wanted to post this video. It consists of clips from Wong Kar Wai's 2046, set to Lali Puna's cover of Together In Electric Dreams, which was originally done by the Human League, I believe.

I think the song really fits with the movie. A line from the song seems to sum up everything the movie is about; we'll always be together/however far it seems/we'll always be together/together in electric dreams. I must admit that I am not familiar with the original HL version of the song (I should probably remedy that), but I really love the LP version. It's not cluttered up, her voice is barely above a whisper, the little electronic flourishes; it's a four-and-a-half minute slice of perfect.


Haven't had a kiss since Christmas

Hello, music lovers. Clickety click and celebrate Christmas in mopey style, with the gorgeous El Perro Del Mar! And in case you were wondering, El Perro Del Mar has a new album coming in 2008, and I quote...
El Perro del Mar's second full-length album titled 'From the Valley to the Stars' will be released on February 27th. The album will be preceded by the single 'How did we forget?' which will be released on 7" as well as a digital download on February 13th. More trivia on the album and things related can be found in the journal.
As usual, check out more tunes on her myspXXX page, or just buy the goddamn album, because it's that good. Also of interest is her blog (man, I hate that word, it sounds like a euphemism for vomiting or something; "Duuuuude, I just blogged!" Gross.), which you can find here. I may or may not post for the rest of 07 (not that anybody will miss it), but I hope anyone reading has cool cool holidays.

El Perro Del Mar > Oh What A Christmas



Wow! Who is KT Tunstall? I ran into this random pic today while doing some, uhh, research at work. I just read that she's Scottish, Irish and Chinese. Cuteness! I mean, I've heard her name before, but never listened to her music. Sadly, I'm checking her myspXXX page now and these songs seem kinda bland. I don't have anything of hers to share, maybe someone has some better examples (or recommendations) of her tunes.


Ho hum, another fucking list

I don't feel like I've listened to a lot of new stuff this year. I've mostly been rediscovering old albums and finding some old gems that have passed me by. As a result, this list pretty much contains established artists, peeps whose albums I'd buy almost without question, just because of the name on the sleeve. Even so, that doesn't always work out, but this is my list for better or for worse. For example, I sincerely doubt you'll find the Puffy album on any year end lists (outside of the hardcore Puffy fans, of course). So yeah, check it out.

11. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings > 100 Days, 100 Nights
I was late to the Sharon Jones party, but hey, at least I showed up. If you want an old school sound, this shit is great.

10. Arcade Fire > Neon Bible
A grower for me. I didn't like it much until I saw them live this past summer. They're only gonna get bigger, which may or may not be a good thing.

9. Explosions In The Sky > All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
This album is kinda more of the same from these guys, but that doesn't mean it's not good. There are some really great moments on this album.

8. Ted Leo / Pharmacists > Living With The Living
Ted Leo is the man. Always thoughtful, always thinking, never preachy. It took a bit for me to get into it, but it's totally worth it once it gets under your skin.

7. The White Stripes > Icky Thump
Pure fun and rock n' roll. Rag & Bone cracks me up every time. I wish they had not canceled their tour this past summer, I was quite looking forward to seeing them.

6. Bjork > Volta
Bjork is always cool. For me, Dull Flame of Desire, the duet with Antony (from Antony and The Johnsons), is the centerpiece of this album and alone is possibly worth the price of admission.

5. Bat For Lashes > Fur and Gold
Very cool stuff. Ethereal and dreamy. Lazy comparison would be a cross between Kate Bush and Bjork, which is never a bad thing (the cross, not the lazy comparison).

4. Puffy > Honeycreeper
Pop princesses return with a pretty immediate and satisfying album. My favorite is Youkai Puffy, with its campfire ghost story (told in Japanese) at the beginning.

3. PJ Harvey > White Chalk
This album is great, so eloquent and understated. And then she throws in a touch of macabre. The song, White Chalk, is very haunting.

2. Radiohead > In Rainbows
I love this. It feels so warm and relaxed, like they didn't try to outdo themselves.

1. Grinderman > Grinderman
Awesome. I love the noise and fuzz, which only makes the slower stuff feel much stronger, because you know they can dial it up and absolutely destroy.


I'll break them down, no mercy shown

It's probably old news to everyone else, but it's new to me. It's a vid of Radiohead covering New Order's Ceremony. Pretty fucking cool.

Once upon a time in the west...

Check this fan video for the Arcade Fire's My Body Is A Cage, it's pretty great. The following is from the guy who created it, check out his website here. Nice work, dude.

(Unofficial) - WARNING: This will potentially spoil the end of the movie if you haven't seen it - Upon listening to the new Arcade Fire album, the last song in particular evoked an intense spaghetti western scenario in my mind. I created a music video for the song with edited clips from Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in the West"... my favorite western.


Passing the torch

Check it out, I bought Puffy CDs, Nice and HiHi Puffy AmiYumi, as Christmas gifts for my nephews (10 and 8 years old). I hope they get completely addicted. My sister is gonna kill me. Woo hoo!

Puffy > Urei

She's better built, that's how

One of my favorite Frank Black songs, Speedy Marie from Teenager of the Year. Man, this is a song and a half! Super catchy, super bouncy, and the word "juxtaposed" even appears in the lyrics. It's a great song to have on while you're driving. I used to think the song was about a car, but I was never really sure. The song came on over the weekend and I poked around a bit (it wasn't that hard to do a search) and discovered it's actually about his (now ex-) wife, who was something of an actress. The first letters of the last 14 lines of the song spell out the name, Jean Marie Walsh. Pretty neat, huh? I love the last couple lines, she is that most lovely art/happy are my mind and my soul and my heart; sounds like pure bliss. Check out the rest of the lyrics and the song.

Had a bit part
An endless reel
It always played in slo-mo
But now it's fast
A spinning wheel
I know the dynamo
My heart
Is cast

Speedy Marie
Ahead of the now
She's better built that's how
She's built for speed
Speedy Marie
Speedy Marie

Oh, yes indeed
I said to me
And so I sing this romaunt
It's not enough
My liberty
There is a thing I want
I need
I love

Speedy Marie
Ahead of the now
She's better built that's how
She's built for speed
Speedy Marie
Speedy Marie

Juxtaposed in each moment's sight
Everything that I ever saw
And my one delight
Nothing can strike me in such awe
Mouth intricate shapes the voice that speaks
Always it will soothe
Rarer none are the precious cheeks
Is the size of each sculpted tooth
Each lip and each eye

Wise is the tongue, wet of perfect thought
And softest neck where always do I
Lay my clumsy thoughts
She is that most lovely art
Happy are my mind and my soul and my heart

Frank Black > Speedy Marie


Gigs, gigs, gigs

Hello, my peeps. Seeing as how I don't have anything else lined up for the rest of this year, I thought I'd post my favorite gigs of the year. I was racking my brain trying to make sure I haven't forgotten anything, and even though I'm fairly confident that I haven't...I probably have. For better or for worse, here it is. Feel free to disagree and bitch me out, or praise my insight and impeccable taste. Also, check out the sites and listen to the sounds.

11. Aimee Mann @ Bimbo's 365 Club
There's a certain familiarity that comes with an Aimee Mann gig. Part of that is because I've seen her so many times since she started releasing records under her own name. Another part is her charm. She doesn't come off as a pretentious bore, and she makes fun of herself quite a bit. Her self-deprecation is sort of endearing, and not at all in a woe-is-me-I-am-so-emo-and-need-attention kinda way. I've heard a lot of people say that Aimee's music is sorta samey, but I think the strength of her songs lie in the lyrics. Most of them are about some kinda fucked up relationship, and then she'll laugh about it after singing it to you. She's very cool and I have never, ever been disappointed by a gig of hers.

10. Rage Against The Machine @ Coachella
I have to admit, I was more curious than anything else about seeing Rage Against The Machine. I used to love them way back when and I drifted away. Then they broke up. I was wondering how they would sound after 6-7 years of Audioslave or whatever. Sorry, I am not really impressed with Audioslave...but this is about RATM, and they brought the fucking noise with them from start to finish. I was really pleased to have seen their set. Looks like they're still doing the festival circuit, so I'd advise you to check them out if you used to like them.

9. Bjork @ Coachella
Bjork. Man, I'll never forget that performance of Declare Independence, with that trippy table instrument thingy. Freaking awesome. Remember what I said about big outdoor festivals? Well, Bjork transcends all that.

8. Morrissey @ The Fillmore
What can you say? Morrissey is the man. I had seen him once before, about 16 years ago-ish...right before Your Arsenal was released. That gig was at a much larger venue (The godawful Shoreline theater in Mountain View). He may be the elder statesman now and misconstrued as a racist, and maybe his albums are declining in quality, but his performance was pretty goddamn good.

7. The Arcade Fire @ The Greek Theater
I wasn't gonna go to this, but I ran into a co-worker's extra ticket, so I figured I may as well. I had seen them a few years ago at Coachella, but wasn't terribly impressed. Many bands get lost in the big outdoor festival translation. This was much, much better. The Greek Theater, in Berkeley, is sort of a bigger venue compared to The Fillmore or Bimbo's, but it's still cozy enough where the crowd can feel the band's energy. I'm not a huge AF fan, but they brought a lot of energy to this gig. Just as a side note, Electrelane opened up which was a good thing, as they've since decided to call it quits or go on hiatus or something.

6. Puffy AmiYumi @ Slim's
If you've talked to me during the past few years, you undoubtedly know of my undying love for Puffy. They did a small west coast tour this year and I got to see them and they fucking rocked. I love these girls, they can do no wrong by me.

5. The Jesus & Mary Chain @ The Fillmore
This was actually my second time seeing the JAMC this year, the first being at Coachella. The Coachella set was great, but way too short...plus there was that weird distraction with Scarlett Johansson showing up to sing background vox on Just Like Honey. I mean, why? The Fillmore set was longer and felt more complete.

4. The Pipettes @ The Rickshaw
These girls are cute, sassy, and pure fun. Do not hesitate to go see them!

3. Eluvium @ Slim's
One of my new favorites. Eluvium is just one guy and he was supporting Explosions In The Sky. I love the distorted instrumental tracks. It reminds me in a way (but doesn't sound like) Brian Eno. It's very cool music that sorta transports you to another world or universe when you listen.

2. Grinderman @ The Great American Music Hall
This is rock n' roll. Dirty. Sweaty. Raw. Sexy. Grinderman threw it down and tore it up. Added bonus was Blixa showing up to sing on The Weeping Song during the encore. Fucking awesome.

1. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings @ Bimbo's 365 Club
This gets the barest of nods over the Grinderman gig, simply because this dropped on my birthday. These guys are the real deal, and I don't think there was one person not bouncing along to the music. Superb, superb show. Go and see them if and when you can.



100 Days, 100 Nights

Oh, fuck yeah! I just scored a ticket for tomorrow night's sold-out performance of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (at the kick-ass Bimbo's 365 Club in north beach). I just started listening to her last week and I realized that she was about to play here. Some other plans I had got post-poned, so I thought I'd try hook up a ticket. The band is pretty tight, and some reviews have gone as far as to call Sharon Jones the "female James Brown". She is pretty goddamn good.

Her latest album is
100 Days, 100 Nights, which is what I've heard so far. I will definitely be making a purchase at the gig tomorrow night. Searching around the interweb, as I tend to do, I found this pretty cool cover of Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In). Apparently, this is only available on 7" at the gigs. Check it out.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings


And for once in your life, you have nothing to say...

So I just read that Stuart from Belle & Sebastian got married. I don't really listen to them any longer, but I was thinking that if it were not for Belle & Sebastian, I would not have met any of peeps I've encountered in the past five or six years. I've crashed on a lot of couches, downed a lot of alcohol with, and befriended people I might have no business even knowing. The world got a lot smaller because of a little Glaswegian indie pop band.

Here's the story of how I first got into Belle & Sebastian. I was living with my girlfriend and another couple. The guy had great taste in music, but him and his girlf were pretty lame. The girl was an obnoxious nag and the guy walked around the house in his boxers and wife-beater. Gross. But he happened to have a copy of If You're Feeling Sinister, which sounded pretty good to me.

Those guys moved out and I kinda forgot about Belle & Sebastian until I stumbled across a $5 promo copy of The Boy With The Arab Strap. A few months later, they were playing two nights at the Warfield theater. I found out too late about it and of course, it was sold out. I did a search and found a B&S message board, registered and pleaded for an extra ticket. The rest, apparently, is history. Or something.

Anyways, this was the first B&S track I really, really liked.

Belle & Sebastian > Sleep The Clock Around


I know I'm a fool for you, but I'm leaving and that's the truth

So I was trying to find out what Andy Sturmer was up to these days. You might know him, he used to be in the criminally underrated Jellyfish, and he also wrote/produced PUFFY for a while. So yeah, I was trying to find out if he had anything goin on lately, and that was how I found L.E.O. It's the project of someone called Bleu (who sounds like he's pretty badass in his own right), and it's kind of a study or homage on the production and songwriting techniques of Jeff Lynne, who used to front the great E.L.O. Kind of a weird circle, isn't it?

Anyways, back to the task at hand, which is the L.E.O. album, entitled Alpacas Orgling. If somebody listens to this and says "OMG WHAT A RIPOFF!", I think they're missing the point. Of course, they wanted to get the sound down, but it also seems like a fun project as well. One of the articles I read (linked on the myspXXX site), Bleu states that L.E.O. stands for "little email operas". All the people who collaborated on this pretty much did their work at home and the tracks would bounce around back and forth until they were done. Pretty cool, eh?

L.E.O. > Ya Had Me Goin


You have the right to free speech, as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it

Joe is the man. Go see the film. Know your rights. And laugh at Johnny Depp. WTF was that all about? It looked like they were interviewing Captain Jack Sparrow.

The Clash > Know Your Rights (Live)


That's what I say each time, but I can't follow through

Check out this awesome track; Break-A-Way, by Irma Thomas. I love how the lyrics are so sad yet the music is very uptempo in contrast, handclaps and all. Not only that, it sounds like a completely fucked up relationship, which is my specialty. Songs like this totally live on my street. I read that Irma Thomas has a cult following, but with songs like this, that girl deserved to be a star.

Irma Thomas > Break-A-Way


I'm a bitter man, I know, but listen honey, you're no fun

So I guess I've been listening to Voxtrot for about a year or so. I climbed upon the bandwagon a little late, as usual, but what are you gonna do? Whatever, right? The point is, I like them, for the most part and I'm going to go see them next week at the excellent Bimbo's 365 Club (inconveniently located in San Francisco's North Beach district).

Here comes the part where I sound like an indie snob. Voxtrot released their (self-titled) first album just earlier this year and I don't like it nearly as much as the previous EPs
(Mothers Sisters Daughters & Wives, Raised By Wolves, Your Biggest Fan). I dunno, I'm sure they put a lot of hard work into the album, but something got lost in the process. The EPs feel fresh and vital, while the album feels like it's stuck in the mud or something. I wanted to like it, but it really didn't catch me at all. Give the other stuff a listen, though, it's well worth your time.

All said, they are still a fun band to see live. Plus, all the girls love Ramesh. I don't think I've ever heard one female speak ill of his looks. So you'll get a little eye candy as well, if you attend a show. Nothing wrong with that. Check out Ramesh's blog, it's well written, if infrequently updated (kinda like this page...uhh, the infrequent updates part). Listen to more tracks on their myspaXXX page, but until then, check this out.

Voxtrot > Raised By Wolves


Puffy the Monster!

I'm gonna go see Puffy tomorrow night, at Slim's. I am really digging their new album, Honeycreeper, it seems more immediate to me than the previous one. It took me a while to get into Splurge. I kinda miss the Andy Sturmer production on this and the last album, though. Being a big Jellyfish fan, he was the reason I had heard of Puffy. That said, I still really enjoy Puffy, and I am quite stoked to check out the gig.

My favorite song so far is Youkai Puffy, I guess it's about a monster or a ghost. It's a bit long, clocking in at just over seven minutes, but there is dialog at the beginning which lasts for about two or three minutes. I didn't like the dialog at first, but the tones of their voices crack me up. The song itself is a barn-burner and it sounds like the band is having a blast.

Check out their G*p ad above, and test drive a new track below. Also, there are more tracks available on their myspXXX page. Honeycreeper is already out in Japan, with a US release coming in 2008. How's that for vague?

Puffy > Youkai Puffy


California Love #6: American Music Club > California Dreamin'

It's been a while, so time for another California type song. I like American Music Club; Mark Eitzel's lyrics are filled with self-loathing and he always makes everything sound so maudlin and melancholy. He also has a sarcastic sense of humor, which comes out when he plays live. So yeah, this cover is a good fit. It's a fine rendition, no surprises and pretty straight ahead. It's an unlisted track, I believe, on their San Francisco album.

American Music Club > California Dreamin'


Live through this and you won't look back

I'm not sorry I met you.
I'm not sorry it's over.
I'm not sorry there's nothing to say.

> Your Ex-Lover Is Dead


Trick or treat!

Hmmm...okay, TREAT! Put this in your Halloween bag!

Seriously, I've been addicted to this song all week. The original is on
The Crow: City of Angels soundtrack, and there's a live version on PJ Harvey's Peel Sessions 1991-2004 album. This shit cooks, and the rest of that Peel album is just as good. Check it, then go out, get your own and thank me later.

PJ Harvey > Naked Cousin


Please don't leave me all by myself

This is pretty sweet, I found it randomly over the summer, kinda forgot about it, and just rediscovered it in my inbox the other day. It's a remix of The Supremes' Where Did Our Love Go? done by someone called Quarterbar. I don't know the specifics of Quarterbar, but just check out the link and it'll probably give you an idea. There are a few other Motown remixes in this manner, this one is my favorite of the bunch. I love the original track as it is, this remix adds a new spin to it which is kinda nice. Take it around the block and see for yourself.

The Supremes > Where Did Our Love Go? (Quarterbar Redo)


Now that we've lost our way, the rest can all fall apart

I have no idea who The Twelves are, but this remix is pretty awesome. Man, Yuki is gorgeous. Pick up the Citrus album, which sports the excellent original version of this track, right over here.

Asobi Seksu > Thursday (The Twelves Remix)


Feel sunshine sparkle pink and blue

And onto another soundtrack. Tonight, I was driving around running a couple errands (trying to get home before Heroes started), and listening to the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Tarantino is a guy whom people either love or hate, there doesn't seem to be any middle ground. Say what you want about him, he picks out great songs for his films. He's a music nerd, pure and simple. The song I'm about to drop is Strawberry Letter 23, by The Brothers Johnson. Hell yeah! This track was the the fucking bomb way back when. I had the 7" that had the little strawberry scratch n' sniff sleeve, I played the record to death and I sniffed the sleeve so much, you'd think I was getting high off it. Awesome. You can find this on their album, Right On Time. The original version was written by a then 15 year-old Shuggie Otis, and it appears on his Freedom Flight album. I've read that it's been covered by Bonnie Raitt, which sounds like it could be the worst cover ever.

The Brothers Johnson > Strawberry Letter 23


Sing a happy song, and we will sing along

One of my favorite movies is The Royal Tenenbaums. The ending is great. Even though the movie ends with a death, it's still sort of a celebration of life and looking ahead. Van Morrison's Everyone, which plays as the film ends, pretty much embodies that feeling. It's a perfect fit and it's difficult to think of another song that would be better in this situation, just because that scene is so ingrained in my brain. It's also a little testament to director Wes Anderson, who picks some really great and fitting songs for his soundtracks. You may or may not like his movies, but his soundtracks are stellar. Despite the song appearing in the film, it's not on this soundtrack. However, you can go straight to the source and find this song on Morrison's classic album, Moondance. Check it out.

Van Morrison > Everyone


My new favorite toy

No tune spam for this post, but this is still sorta music-related. I've had this browser plugin, FoxyTunes, for a little while now. A lot of the stuff I do at work requires me to use a web browser, and FoxyTunes lets you control your media player from the browser, instead of having to flip back and forth between windows. A couple weeks ago, I accidentally clicked on the song title in the FT display and was taken to the FT homepage.

Holy shit, it's great!

You can search the artist/band you're interested in and it brings up a sweet little page of info. It collates content from Wikipedia (artist bio), Youtube (song videos), Hype Machine (mp3s), LastFM (similar artist recommendations), Pandora (similar artist radio station), Lyric Wiki (lyrics by artist/album/song), Flickr (pix), and buy links from Amazon. Whoever created this didn't have to come up with any content at all. Brilliant. So yeah, I really dig it, as you can tell. You can download the plugin for Firefox here. And if you're using IE, you can get it here. I think it's only available for Windows, at the moment. Hopefully they'll have a Mac version running soon.



I want to be that girl tonight

Sticking with the girl groups thing, (and this is the part where I get laughed at but i don't care) I'm really annoyed with myself for missing the Go-Go's at the Independent, last week. Yeah, I love 'em. Jane Wiedlin is freaking awesome, that girl is sex on a stick. Anyways, after the Go-Go's had been broken up for something like five years, they reunited in 1990 for what was supposed to be a one-off gig, a benefit for the California Environmental Protection Act. So a friend and I drove down to Los Angeles to catch the show, and it was great. They ending up touring a little more, I saw them again a year or so later, and I also caught them in 2001 when they were touring in support of their album, God Bless The Go-Go's. How Much More, from Beauty and the Beat, is perhaps my favorite song. I always liked how most of the songs were so uptempo, but the lyrics were kinda sad. Man, look at that pic; the 80s were responsible for some really heinous fashion trends.

The Go-Go's > How Much More


Give us your mind and we'll scan it

I bought tickets to see The Pipettes at the end of the month, they're playing at the most excellent Bimbo's 365 Club. Just last week, their album finally got a US release, so I'm guessing the US tour is supposed to coincide with that. Just a side note, if you do end up liking this, I recommend tracking down the original release on Memphis-Industries, as the US version is being distributed by the evil Interscope. Anyway, they're kinda like cotton candy (eat too much and you get sick) but they're still really fun. I got to see them a few months back at the tiny Rickshaw Stop, so I'm gonna go again. I even mass-spammed my friends in an effort to get them out there to have a good time and support the band, but I doubt any of them will go. Fuckers. Anyways, I love this song. It's great fun, and sometimes that's all you need.

The Pipettes > We Are The Pipettes


Open up your skull, I'll be there

So the new Radiohead album will be available next week (you get to pick your own price for it) and I'm pretty interested in checking it out. Seems like people either love them or hate them. They're one of those weird bands that are in the mainstream of public consciousness, even though they probably have no business being there at all. Anyways, Climbing Up The Walls, from OK Computer, is probably my favorite Radiohead track. I love the slow-burn, ominous pace to it, and it definitely has a soundtrack feel to it. It feels like it could fit somewhere in a movie like Se7en, The Descent or Fight Club. The track has a nice texture to it, kinda muffled but metallic, listing like a ship that's dead in the water. Thom Yorke's voice is sorta unintelligible and there's a fuzzy quality to his vocals. My favorite part of the song is at the end, when everything is peaking and he lets out a chilling scream. It's like the sound of ultimate horror. Awesome.

Radiohead > Climbing Up The Walls


It looked as if I picked your name out of a hat

I've been totally stuck on the New Pornographers' The Bleeding Heart Show for, I dunno, the past couple weeks. I love the way it starts up, very reserved and demure. It slowly builds, the voices playing off each other. When it all kicks it, it's bliss. Everyone singing hey la hey la hey la hey laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Then Neko starts singing "we have arrived too late to play bleeding heart show". I have no idea what it means but it sounds great. The drumming is fantastic, sounds almost as if he can barely restrain himself, like he's about to go off the rails. Love it.

The New Pornographers > The Bleeding Heart Show


More songs than they can stand

Originally, I wasn't going to go see Morrissey this week. He's playing four nights at the Fillmore. I mean, I was interested, but the ticket price is pretty high. Finally, I decided that I should see him. I've seen him once before, and that was a looooooong time ago, at a much bigger venue. It's Morrissey, and he's the man...so I shall forget about the price and go check out a living legend. I've just arranged to pick up a ticket tonight for tomorrow night's gig, which is the third show of the four.

I'm not sure if I have a favorite Morrissey song or album (we're talking solo stuff here), I've had only casual interest in his post Smiths material. I did like
Your Arsenal quite a bit, as well as Vauxhall and I. I don't have his latest album, I'm not even sure of the title. Predictably, my favorite Smiths album is The Queen Is Dead, so shoot me. It's still a great album.

In any case, I'm gonna drop
We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful here. It simply reminds me of the time I had seen him in 91, on Halloween night no less. That single had just been released, with a handful of live tracks (Suedehead, I've Changed My Plea To Guilty, Pregnant For The Last Time, and Alsatian Cousin) , but Your Arsenal had not yet been released. I don't know how it was elsewhere, but that single was generating a lot of the buzz here before the show.

Morrissey > We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful


Now it's raining more than ever

Laugh if you must, but I like this cover of Rihanna's Umbrella. It's done in white girl, OC soundtrack style, but whatever. Like I said before, I'm no indie snob, I just like what I like. Or I can call it a guilty pleasure. In any case, it's Marie Digby. She's Japanese/Irish. Hott. And she has a nice voice, too.

Marie Digby > Umbrella


Still, the fire of love is true and I am breathless without you

This is for my peeps who are getting married tomorrow (I'm going to two weddings!).

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds > Breathless


You know what I fear, the end is always near

My buddy KC linked me to this shirt and asked me if this Venn Diagram summed up our relationship. "Yeah" I said, "Pretty much." Poor KC, I hope I didn't hurt her feelings too bad. Cool shirt, I think I might pick one up. Click the pic if you want to check it out, among others, over at Diesel Sweeties.

So, here's a song you might understand someday. Just kidding, I'm not an indie snob; I mean, look at all the shit I listen to, come on. Anyways, I picked up the reissue of The Knife's Silent Shout. It comes with two additional discs: one live CD and a live DVD. The live disc is pretty sweet, I'd like to catch their show sometime. This is the live version of my favorite track from Silent Shout.

The Knife > We Share Our Mother's Health


Fake ID

So, the new Go! Team album, Proof of Youth, is out. So far, Fake ID is my favorite track. It's got a nice melody and I still dig the cheerleader schtick. If you have the first album, Thunder Lightning Strike, you might be able to live without this one, but it's still pretty fun and worth the splash if you like the first one. PoY also seems to follow the same formula as TLS; a few songs here, then an instrumental, and then ending with an instrumental as well. It's not a bad thing, just something I noticed. The album still has that low-fi production feel, which is cool, but there's something about the production that bugs me and I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's just because it's new, but I think this will likely end up in heavy rotation, like the previous album did. The biggest surprise is the legendary Chuck D showing up on Flashlight Fight; I am liking that song quite a bit, as well. In any case, you can pick it up at the Memphis Industries site, if you are so inclined. The album also comes with a second disc of three b-sides and a remix of Grip Like A Vice (I'm not sure if that's a limited release or not). Don't forget to check out more tracks over at their myspaXXX site.

The Go! Team > Fake ID


I can't quit you baby

So even the mighty Led Zeppelin have succumbed to the reunion madness. Sheesh, this one is all over the place, even I couldn't stay away from it. Apparently John Bonham's son, Jason, will be playing drums in his father's absence. Apparently, it's a one-off gig in memory of Ahmet Ertegun (co-founder of Atlantic Records) but there are swirling rumors of a full blown tour as well. A few months ago, I happened to catch a PBS documentary on Stax Records. For a while, Stax was affiliated with Atlantic Records, and they briefly talked about the artists that Ertegun had signed and produced, and his vision. He was an amazing guy when it came to music, so I guess it seems only fitting that Led Zepppelin should get back togther to honor the guy who helped them start their legendary career. I have a hard time listening to Zep these days (they were really overplayed in high school), so check out this cool cover by Kristin Hersh.

Kristin Hersh > When The Levee Breaks

Armageddon Days (are here again)

They're 5 miles high
As the crow flies
Leavin' vapour trails
Across a blood red sky
Movin' in from the East
Towards the West
With balaclava helmets
Over their heads

But if you think that Jesus Christ is coming
Honey, you've got another thing coming
If he ever finds out who's hijacked his name
He'll cut out his heart and turn in his grave

Islam is rising
The Christians mobilising
The world is on it's elbows and knees
It's forgotten the message
And worships the creeds

"It's War" she cried
"It's War" she cried
"This is War!"
Drop your possessions
All you simple folk
You will fight them on the beaches
in your underclothes
You will thank the good lord
For raising the Union Jack
You'll watch the ships sail out of harbour
And the bodies come floating back
Watch the ships sail out of harbour
And the bodies come floating back

If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
He'd be gunned down cold by the C.I.A.
Oh, the lights that now burn brightest
Behind stained glass
Will cast the darkest shadows
Upon the human heart
But God didn't build himself that throne
God doesn't live in Israel or Rome
God doesn't belong to the Yankee dollar
God doesn't plant the bombs for Hezbollah
God doesn't even go to church
And God won't send us down to Allah to burn
God will remind us what we already know
That the human race is about to reap what it's sown

Islam is rising
The Christians mobilising
The world is on it's elbows and knees
It's forgotten the message
And worships the creeds
The world is on it's elbows and knees
It's forgotten the message
And worships the creeds

Armageddon days are here again
Armageddon days are here again
Armageddon days are here again
Armageddon Days Are HERE!!!


The The > Armageddon Days (are here again)


You know that's against the rules

So, football season happens to start this weekend, which reminds me of of this song, Backfield In Motion, by Mel & Tim. I'm not much of a football fan by any stretch, but this song is ridiculously catchy and amusingly riddled with sports references (mostly football) and innuendos (even though I generally feel that most songs about sports are pretty lame)(don't you hate parenthetical asides?). Apparently, these guys are cousins from Mississippi who were discovered in Chicago in the 60s, and this was their biggest hit. I grabbed this track from the most excellent box set, Beg, Scream & Shout: The Big Ol' Box of 60s Soul, which is pretty much worth whatever it says on the price tag. Check it.

Mel & Tim > Backfield In Motion


I followed you, foolishly

I can't decide which version of this Yo La Tengo song I like better. The album version is so elegant and understated, while the EP version is completely revved up. Georgia's voice is really pretty in both cases, so I guess it's just a matter of whether I am feeling up or down. You can find the original on the Summer Sun album, and the rock n' roll version on the Today Is The Day EP. If you are interested in more, their website appears to be down at this writing, but definitely check out the inevitable myspaXXX page and the Matador Records site.

Yo La Tengo > Today Is The Day (album version)

Yo La Tengo > Today Is The Day (EP version)


It's us.

My favorite Eluvium track is As I Drift Off, from When I Live By The Garden and the Sea. The intro has dialog, from a movie I presume, but I have no idea where it's from or what context it's in. Somebody is screaming "we're the ones who are acting suspicious and lighting fires, we're the lunatics, it's us, not them!" Then, and this is the moment that really gets me for some reason, he pauses and quietly says, "it's us", as if he's finished with his tirade and is turning away to leave. The music transports me away, maybe to an alien planet, floating on a cloud past mountains made of metal and glass; through canyons and valleys, screaming with static and electricity. It is cold and quite abrasive, but there's also an underlying warmth and calmness at the center of it all. Maybe the music is like a key to a portal, or maybe it's only in my mind. Maybe it's just past the hillside that's depicted on the cover of the EP, or maybe it's nothing at all.

I'm off to sunny Florida for a week or so, you kids be good.

Eluvium > As I Drift Off

Get Come Back

So I've been offline for a few days (read: I forgot to pay my internet bill) and I am back. I mean, I was never really gone, but you know what I mean...and stuff. Anyways, this dude in Chile peeped me to this band called the Fleeting Joys, and they're from fucking Sacramento, which is like an hour and a half drive from here. The internet is making the world smaller and smaller, I tell ya. So yeah, this guy is into MBV (like, who isn't?) and pointed me towards the Fleeting Joys. The album, Despondent Transponder, is verrrry Loveless, I think it's pretty darn good. I'm especially taken with this particular track, Get Come Back. Fucking hell, it's just so, so gorgeous. I love it. Listen to them over at myspaXXX and buy their album over at Only Forever Recordings, which is their own label, I believe. Also, they are playing Cafe du Nord in early October, I think i'm gonna hit that gig.

Fleeting Joys > Get Come Back


You gotta give to get

I love El Perro Del Mar. This song is ten kinds of wonderful, and the video is really great.

El Perro Del Mar > God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)


It's the color of your skin

I used to really like the Catherine Wheel's, Black Metallic, way back when. It came up briefly in conversation this past weekend, which made me want to listen to it again. I like the fuzzy, shoegazey noise and the density of the song. It just feels big and heavy to me. I came to them by way of an old housemate who loved them, and this was the song I liked best. Dunno what ever happened to them, they just seemed to disappear. I think Rob Dickinson may have released a solo album or two, but I can't say that I'm too fussed to look them up.

Catherine Wheel > Black Metallic


L'accord Parfait

This song is absolute bliss. Since I don't speak French, I have no idea what it's about so I will make up my own meaning. It's probably about lying on green green grass next to a cool cool river while underneath blue blue skies and a giant yellow sun on a warm summer day. Or maybe about zombies that go around eating the faces of the survivors of a deadly government-created plague. Uhh, riiiiight.

Autour de Lucie > L'accord Parfait