California Love #4: The Decemberists > Los Angeles, I'm Yours

Hey hey, kids! I'm off to beautiful LA this weekend. I leave you with this gem, It's an ode to the City of Angels, which pretty much speaks for itself. See you later...

There is a city by the sea

A gentle company
I don't suppose you want to?

And as it tells its sorry tale
In harrowing detail
Its hollowness will haunt you

Its streets and boulevards,
Orphans, and oligarchs
And here's a plaintive melody
A truncated symphony
An ocean's garbled vomit on the shore:
Los Angeles, I'm yours

O ladies, pleasant and demure
Sallow cheek'd and sure
(I can see your undies)
And all the boys you drag about
An empty, fallow fount
From Saturdays to Mondays

You hill and valley crowd
Hanging your trousers down at heel
This is the realest thing
As anchient choirs sing
A dozen blushing cherubs wheel above
Los Angeles, my love

O, what a rush of ripe elan!
Languor on divans
Dalliance and dainty!

But the smell of burnt cocaine,
The dolour and decay
It only makes me cranky

O, great calamity
Dish of inequity and tears
How I abhor this place!
Its sweet and bitter taste
Has left me wretched, retching on all fours

Los Angeles, I'm yours
Los Angeles, I'm yours
Los Angeles, I'm yours

The Decemberists > Los Angeles, I'm Yours

I got it badly for a stick legged girl

I put the player on shuffle last night and this tune popped up. I hadn't heard it in a while and had sorta forgotten how much I liked it. I first encountered the Old 97'sTimebomb in the movie, Clay Pigeons. It's a quirky movie about murders in a small town with Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix. It's pretty cool, it won't blow you away but it's sorta underrated, I think. Anyway, this song is just a big ball of energy, it jumps right out of the gate. I love the line, havin' her in my brain's like getting hit by a train. I love the way the drummer does that shuffle beat, or whatever it's called. The whole thing just sings to me.

Sadly, I bought their album, Fight Songs, which was the latest release at that time, and it didn't really do anything for me and I never investigated any further. I even saw Rhett Miller, the singer for the Old 97s. He had released a solo album and was supporting Neil Finn. He turned in a nice set, but nothing grabbed me in particular. The soundtrack for Clay Pigeons is pretty cool, however, and I can recommend that without hesitation. So check it out. Who knows, maybe someone will hear this and end up loving the Old 97s.

Old 97s > Timebomb


Stay Awake

Yay! A new Asobi Seksu track, titled Stay Awake. I've heard it only a few times so far, but it really struck me how dreamy the track is, I think it's really pretty. I also like the ending, how it drifts and fades. You can stream/download it here, on the Adult Swim site, of all places. Also, it's gonna be released on 7" b/w Then He Kissed Me. Time to fire up the turntable. It's been roughly a year since Citrus was released, but there hasn't been any word on a new album as of yet. They're touring the UK at the moment, so I'm guessing it'll be a while, end of the year at the very least, before new album news drops. But who knows? Also, they have a live EP to tide you over. It's part of iTunes' Live from SoHo series, and it's only available as an iTunes download. Because I'm so XXXcore, I'm contemplating buying it, although I've never purchased anything from them before. If anyone grabs it from iTunes, let me know how the performance and everything sounds.

Asobi Seksu > Stay Awake

Ooh, and they also have a new-ish video for Goodbye. Check it.


While I was looking up the stuff for the last post, it dawned on me that I'd like a little change. I really liked the bouncy ball pix from the Sony ad, so I played around with those, as well as the original Clock Tower pic, they're posted on my Flickr page if anyone wants to check em out. I'll probably be on the lookout for other banner ideas for a bit. I put this one up temporarily to see how it looks, so any suggestions or comments are totally welcome.


Ten days of perfect tunes, the colors red and blue

What happens when a guy has only one album (so far) and his most famous song is actually a cover song? What if his version is every bit as good as the original, and yet completely different? The only thing that I do know is that we get cool music out of it. Jose Gonzales' version of
Heartbeats was the one I heard first, it's on his Veneer album. Then I found out it was originally done by The Knife, who are fast becoming favorites of mine. I sought out their album, Deep Cuts, which contained Heartbeats and was not disappointed. I think I love both versions equally. Maybe that's a cop out, but I really can't choose, they're both so good in their own ways, but you can check them both out and decide for yourself.

I had first come across the Jose Gonzales version in reading an article about a Sony ad that was filming here in San Francisco (this was, I dunno, about two years ago). The stills from the ad looked really cool, a million rainbow-colored bouncy balls making their way down Fillmore Street. Awesome. So I looked up the ad on Youtube and watched. The soundtrack was (drumroll please) Jose Gonzales' version of Heartbeats. So that was how I initially found my way to this track.

So, I have a few audio and video goodies for you to contrast and compare:
The Knife > Heartbeats

Jose Gonzales > Heartbeats

The original Sony Bravia ad featuring the Gonzales track

and the same ad with The Knife track (props to whomever made this, it's pretty cool)



Best. Lovesong. Ever.

Once upon a time, I was engaged and we were gonna have this played at some point during the wedding. I remember I bought the Lamb album and we were both listening to it for the first time. It was pretty good, and then Gorecki came on and we both kinda looked at each other like...wow. Fuck those TIME/LIFE romance collections, that shit is music for people who don't like music. This song still gives me chills.

Lamb > Gorecki


California Love #3: 2pac featuring Dr. Dre > California Love

There really wasn't any stopping this one from coming up, it probably should have been the first post of this series. I guess California Love was part of the whole West Coast/East Coast rivalry thing, maybe even a response to another song. Someone please feel free to step in. Also, that cover is really bad. They really could have done better. In any case, I like the whole roll call thing, naming off some of the cities in California, and the beat is fucking great. It's just an excellent song.

Whenever I think of Tupac, the Chris Rock's dialogue on rap music inevitably pops into my head, always makes me laugh. Check it out...

So yeah, I like this track, it's rockin'.

2pac featuring Dr. Dre > California Love


California Love #2: Billy Bragg & Wilco > California Stars

California Stars comes to us from Billy Bragg & Wilco, by way of Woody Guthrie. The story goes like this; Woody had left behind something like a thousand songs, just lyrics without music. His daughter had approached Billy Bragg and asked him to pick out some of the songs and set them to music. Bragg then asked Wilco to join him. The resulting album was the excellent Mermaid Avenue, which is named after one of Woody's songs and also the name of the street in Coney Island, where Guthrie had lived.

The song, to me, is just about the peacefulness of being outside. Maybe he's hiking across the state and sleeping outdoors at night, dreaming of someone he loves, wishing she were there. It just feels like a really nice sentiment, to me, especially the line:

So, I'd give this world
Just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California Stars

Pick up the album if you're even half interested, it's very much worth it.

Billy Bragg & Wilco > California Stars


No Quarter

So, I have to say, I hardly listen to (Tool's) Salival. Because of the odd shape of the packaging (much bigger than a CD jewel case or DVD snap case), it sits away from the storage racks, generally on top and somewhat forgotten. I had it ripped a long time ago, but I'd neglected to rip it again after the past several hard drive failures. I finally got around to ripping it last week and am enjoying it more than I ever have before, especially their cover of Led Zeppelin's No Quarter. I haven't heard it in forever, but I kinda want to put on the Zep version just to compare, because I have a feeling that Tool's version will blow away the Zep version...only in that I love Tool, and merely liked Led Zeppelin.

I can respect Led Zeppelin for what they've done, but they've sorta become a caricature to me. It's so hard to listen to them without remembering some crappy ass FM station championing Stairway to Heaven (or some other overplayed Zep track) two or three times a day ("This is KRQR and *that* was the mighty Led Zeppelin with their classic, Black Dog"). HELLO STFU PLZ IM TIRED OF HEARING THIS KTHXBYE. Or how about the fucking stoners in high school, with their steeltoe boots, dirty blue jeans and their denim jackets that had the giant-sized Swan Song patch logo sewn onto the back, along with the Zoso logo scribbled onto their schoolbooks and binders while walking around muttering, "Zeppelin, dude." under their breath and flashing each other with the \m/ sign. UMM HELLO STFU PLZ KTHXBYE.

Man, I wish I could go back in time to utter that phrase to those assholes. I'd be dressed smartly in black and I'd totally walk up to them and start with, "Hello (random stoner dude), I have a message for you from the future. STFU PLZ KTHXBYE." They would stare at me blankly, not getting it, as I walked away and disappeared...but it would make ME feel better.

And that, my friends, is my expert analysis on why Tool's No Quarter > Led Zeppelin's No Quarter. Compare and contrast. KTHXBYE.

Tool > No Quarter

Led Zeppelin > No Quarter


And when you're still angry at God....

You can write a letter, like XTC did. And perhaps you'll get an answer. The song is pretty straightforward, if you spend any amount of time with it. Musically, it's a pretty little pop gem that XTC are known for (by those who know). Unfortunately, XTC isn't known for commercial success, which means their following basically consists of music nerds like me.

Dear God wasn't even included on the original release of Skylarking. It was a b-side of the album's first single, Grass. Dear God became something of a hit which led to the pulling of Mermaid Smile and the re-releasing of the album. Also, there was a lot of friction between Todd Rundgren, the album's producer, and Andy Partridge, who is the main songwriter for the band. In spite of that, Skylarking is considered one of XTC's best albums.

XTC > Dear God