I got nobody on my side, and surely that ain't right

Hello music lovers, I've been sick and the synapses have not been firing. However, I'm all doped up right now, so it's all good for the moment. Upwards and onwards! So the Coachella lineup was announced last week and I've decided I'm going to skip it this year. There are some pretty good bands, but I've seen most of them before and the headliners; Jack Johnson, Portishead and Roger Waters, aren't compelling enough to warrant that kind of money, plus I've seen them all previously. Yes, I've seen Jack Johnson. Get over it. As I mentioned before, I would have gone for My Bloody Valentine alone, but that's not happening.

After something like a ten year hiatus, Portishead have a new album coming this spring. I'm kinda hoping that Portishead comes around here before or after their Coachella gig. I saw them once in 98. It was a scaled down version of the show you can see on the Roseland NYC Live DVD. For that gig, they had The NY Philharmonic Orchestra accompany them, pretty awesome. The show I saw had ten or so peeps (maybe less), but it was still really great. Actually, the version of Sour Times that appears on the CD was recorded during the show I attended. I guess that's the closest I'll ever get to being on an album.

The first time I heard Portishead, I wasn't into them at all.
Dummy had just been released in 94 and Sour Times was ALL over the radio and music video shows; it was soooo overplayed and I was happy for it to go away. A couple years later, I was watching the then pilot episode of Millenium, which was the new show from Chris Carter (X-Files). There was a scene where Frank Black, the lead character, goes to question a stripper and Roads plays. Man, that song floored me! I think it took me a week or so to find out the artist and rushed out to buy the album. Remember, this was way before Google. I think all I knew was AOL back then. Sheesh.
Roads is still my favorite song of theirs, it's utterly beautiful. That song even helped me get into a conversation with a girl who had seen that show as well, and we had a cool conversation after she mentioned she was looking for that song. We even ended up going out for a couple years. For me, that song is haunting in more ways than one.

Portishead > Roads


Tell me we were fools to fall

Advertising is weird. There's a Taco Bell commercial that is currently in heavy rotation and it features Joe Jackson's One More Time. I guess they brought back a specialty item for a second go round, or...one more time. That song, though, is really bitter and angry. If you listen to the snippet that's on the commercial, he's singing "one more time/say you're leaving/say goodbye". That's it, his girl is leaving him and he still can't believe it. I mean, check out the song's opening lines;

Tell me one more time as I hold your hand, that you don't love me
Tell me one more time as teardrops start to fall

Shout it to me and I'll shout it to the skies above me

That there was nothing after all

I guess it doesn't matter, though, because the only thing that anybody will really hear is the "
one more time" part, and that's what the ad execs want. In any case, you can check this track on Joe Jackson's most excellent 1979 debut album, Look Sharp!, which is well worth the ten bucks on the price tag. Also check out the Joe Jackson Archive for an detailed look at the man and his music.

Joe Jackson > One More Time


Step into the party

So I just randomly found these guys, Nicole Willis and The Soul Investigators, and wow! Her voice is so smooth and the band sounds pretty tight. I read up on them a bit and discover that the band, The Soul Investigators, are from Finland! Now there's something unexpected, a Finnish soul/funk band. How cool is that? I bet there's more great stuff like this coming outta there. Peep some more tunes here, buy some records here, and check out a video for If This Ain't Love (Don't Know What Is), here.

Nicole Willis and The Soul Investigators > Invisible Man


And she'll not hear a sound

I like Matt Johnson quite a bit. You can find his albums under the name, The The. His lyrics are thoughtful, frustated and angry; you can really tell that he cares about what's going on with the world and the people that inhabit it. One of my favorite tracks is December Sunlight, from the 45 RPM album. It's a fairly straightforward narrative about a girl who has simply had enough of all the shit her lover has given her. She's finally gathered up the courage to turn the corner and not look back.

Now, there are two versions of this song. As mentioned above, this is the version from 45 RPM, which is a compilation of singles and remixes. This version features drums, a little more production, and a girl called Liz Horsman, whom I know nothing about. The original version from Nakedself is Matt Johnson and a guitar or two (or maybe one guitar overdubbed). They are both fine tracks, but I prefer the vocal interplay between Matt and Liz.

You can hear and purchase more music over at his website, thethe.com.

The The > December Sunlight


Naked baby pictures

Man, it seems like everyone I know has recently had a kid or is about to have one. Well, at least the unsolicited baby photo emails have stopped....for now.

Stevie Wonder > Isn't She Lovely


Do the math

I've only heard this song for the first time the other day, and I found it terribly amusing. It's Okkervil River's Plus Ones, and it's off their album, The Stage Names, which was released last year. They've referenced songs with numbers in the titles/lyrics and added 1 to them. Being the lame-O nerd that I am, I set out to list all the references. I had to look up a couple, but I knew most of them.

Question Mark & The Mysterians > 96 Tears
Nena > 99 LuftBallons
R.E.M. > 7 Chinese Brothers
The Byrds > 8 Miles High
David Bowie > TVC15
The Zombies > Care of Cell 44
Paul Simon > 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
The Commodores > 3 Times A Lady
The Crests > 16 Candles
Nine Inch Nails > Year Zero

I think that's it, if anyone has any additions or corrections, please have at it. Oh, and the album is pretty good. It's got a kinda organic (maybe even classic) rock sound to it. Check out more of their songs here and here.

Okkervil River > Plus Ones


Don't go thinking you're cool

I suppose if I had heard this album in a timely manner, this might have made my little list of 2007 faves. It's difficult the way things are these days, there's an overwhelming amount of music that screams to be heard and you can't really answer each call unless it's your job to listen to music. In any case...

I first heard Lucky Soul's
Give Me Love on the very cool HDIF (How Does It Feel?) compilation, The Kids At The Club. I've finally got around to checking out Lucky Soul's album, The Great Unwanted, and it's infectious fun. As some of the peeps on my regular message board have said, it's somewhere along the same street as St. Etienne, Saturday Looks Good To Me and The Pipettes; which isn't a bad place to live for any band. Anyways, I could go on; better to let the music speak for itself. Also, check out more tracks at myspXXX.

Lucky Soul > One Kiss Don't Make A Summer