31.12.10

Have a Heart


I made it back in one piece from my family reunion in Las Vegas. This is my musical mix ode to 2010. Not necessarily the best, just what I like. Click on for more.

24.12.10

Happy holidays, peeps!

I may or may not be able to sneak in a few posts (if anyone is reading) before the end of the year. If I can't, then happy holidays to y'all. Here's a little Xmas mix I put up on 8tracks, press play if you're so inclined.

Chillin' and coolin' just like a snowman


Christmas eve with a classic.

Run DMC > Christmas in Hollis

23.12.10

My heart is as cold as ice

A Xmas gift to you, from Tracey Thorn and her ice cold heart. Sister Winter is a free track that you can grab over at her website. I think it's just hit me that Xmas is right around the corner. The last of the presents I bought arrived in the post yesterday, and I don't have to work for a couple weeks. And then, I ran into this lovely little tune. Pretty sweet.

Tracey Thorn > Sister Winter

22.12.10

Soulful Christmas


From James Brown's Funky Christmas, wishing you a Soulful Christmas. James Brown loves you.

James Brown > Soulful Christmas

21.12.10

Merry Christmas, baby!

From the great Otis Redding! What a terrific pic of Otis Redding Jr. & Otis Redding III.

Otis Redding > Merry Christmas Baby

19.12.10

Hey baby, I've got something for you

Recorded for a Target Xmas compilation, Best Coast and Wavves throw their hat into the holiday pop songs circle with Got Something For You. It looks like you can download the rest of the album here, for free.

Best Coast / Wavves > Got Something For You

14.12.10

Le Cantique de Noël

Here comes Röyksopp's take on Le Cantique de Noël. It sounds like a lost Jean-Michel Jarre Xmas track or something.

Röyksopp > Le Cantique de Noël

12.12.10

Santa Baby

The belles of Oakland, The Hot Toddies, give us their twisted version of Santa Baby.

Phantom Phone Vibration

The other day, I followed a link that led me to 8tracks.com, and I decided to sign up. It's kinda neat, you make little mixes (the rules state they must be at least 8 songs and no more than 2 songs from the same artist) from your own mp3/m4a (those are the only file types you are allowed to upload) collection and create your own station. If you remember Muxtape, it's basically the same thing, except 8tracks seems to have a license worked out with the record labels. Who knows, maybe this will last.

In any case, I've thrown a couple mixes together and this is the latest one. Check it out, if you're so inclined. The others are over here, and add me or link me to yours, if you decide to join.


11.12.10

21st Century Christmas

Christmas with all of the modern conveniences. It can't be that bad, especially if it involves Saint Etienne.

Saint Etienne > 21st Century Christmas

8.12.10

Christmas is the Saddest Day of the Year

It's statistically proven.

Jill Sobule > (Christmas is) The Saddest Day of the Year

30.11.10

Red, Green, White, Green, Red, Red, White


Today, I discovered that a new Puffy single, R.G.W., is out, and it's an Xmas song, to boot. I'm liking this much more than some of the recent stuff they've done with Butch Walker. From what I've read, they worked with Tamio Okuda on this, which is a nice change. I really love the Beatles moment when they sing "Love, love, love." The video is kinda cute, too.

Computer Games

Hanging out with cousin tonight. Hadn't seen her in a while, so we were catching up on our latest obsessions. Roundabout conversation led to a discussion of David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto (she had just purchased a movie called Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence) and Yellow Magic Orchestra. I remember the first time I had heard Computer Games, I was in junior high school at the time. Back then, this is what the future sounded like.

Yellow Magic Orchestra > Computer Games

26.11.10

Freeze Frame


I always forget about these guys for some reason, and then I run across it randomly and wonder why I don't listen to them more often. Despite my memory lapses, this is a pretty good song. The band is Dive, an early 00s Japanese band. I really don't know much about them, except they're sorta in that same vein as Ride, JAMC, MBV. You get the picture. Thankfully, this is not a J. Geils Band cover.

Dive > Freeze Frame

14.11.10

R2, we love you

Alright, peeps, you may say it's too early or whatever, but I've got my Christmas lights going because I felt like it. And with that, the Christmas music begins. I give you, R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas, from Christmas In The Stars: The Star Wars Christmas Album. What's amusing about this track is that it features a then-unknown 17 year old Jon Bon Jovi (listed as Jon Bongiovi). According to Wikipedia, Jon's cousin, Tony Bongiovi, "co-produced the album and ran the recording studio at which it was recorded, where Jon was working sweeping floors at the time." And the rest is history.

Star Wars Singers > R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas

I don't wanna be stuck on the bottom shelf

I always feel weird when I say I like some band or song that I heard for the first time on, say, Pitchfork or whatever. If you know me at all, you know I'm pretty far from hipster-indie-snob. But, if you're looking for new music, you have to hear it first somewhere. Sometimes it's your friends who point you in the right direction, sometimes it's a snooty music site (like this one!). And while I'm on this subject; yeah, it's easy to dislike Pitchfork and call them pretentious or snooty, but the fact is they cover a lot of the music I enjoy and that's why I continue to read them and other music sites. I don't have to agree with their opinions, I just want information, to know what's going on and what's coming out.

So, with my dull dialog out of the way; I really like this song, Dreaming, by Seapony, whom I've never ever heard of before catching a blurb about them on Pitchfork. It's hazy and dreamy, complete with fetching 60s girl-pop vocals. Easily worth the 2+mb of space on your hard drive. If you like this, they also have a free 3-track EP if you click here.

Seapony > Dreaming

11.11.10

How come you treat me like a worn out shoe?

Another late year discovery for me is The Secret Sisters' self titled debut album. I don't really know a lot about country music, but these girls seem old school, to me. It sounds genuine, earnest and timeless. Short and sweet, the album clocks in at just under half an hour. And while the album may have been recorded in the past year or two, it's heart seems to be at least four or five decades old.

A lot of these songs are covers, from what I've read, and you can hear the love and respect for the material. They don't try to outdo anyone with overwrought histrionics, the not-so-secret Rogers sisters (Laura and Lydia) inhabit the songs and create their own space within them. I love their voices and harmonies, they totally transport me to somewhere else. I'm looking forward to hearing more from these lovely ladies.

The Secret Sisters > Why Don't You Love Me?

9.11.10

The way you shine so bright

I just stumbled onto Sweden's Sad Day For Puppets last week, and I'm completely hooked. Kinda jangly dreampop, ethereal female vocals, an endless supply of hooks and maybe even a little shoegaze thrown in. Reminiscent of Lush, in a way. Little Light is from their 2008 album, Unknown Colours. They also have a new album, Pale Silver and Shiny Gold that just hit about a month or so ago.

Sad Day For Puppets > Little Light

19.10.10

The Count of Pennsylvania

Hey, kids! Rejoice, for there has been a Michael Penn sighting! This video was just posted a few days ago, hopefully an album will follow soon. I love the line about a mob being a democracy, he always has a way with a phrase.

15.10.10

OCTOMIX


A little mix for the waning days of summer. For some reason, it's a little heavy on covers (8 outta the 27), but there's no real rhyme or reason for the tracks. They just sounded good at the time. So stick this in your iPod, turn it up and go. Feel free to praise or clown me in the comments section. Click on for the tracklist and link. Enjoy!

17.9.10

Float in space and drift in time

As much as I love Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, I never knew that there was an "original", version of the title track. I just made this discovery the other day (I know, I'm always late to the party). The original vision incorporates the melody and lyrics from Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love, which only makes the song more sweet and melancholy. Apparently the Presley estate objected to this union early on, but finally relented some 12 years later, when the album was reissued in 2009. Like I said, I adored this track already; this version wowed me.

Spiritualized > Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

6.9.10

You adore me

I suspect The Raveonettes' cover of The Stone Roses' classic, I Wanna Be Adored, will likely place a lot of peeps squarely in the "hate it" category, but I really like it. It's straight ahead and doesn't really change anything save for the vocals, Sharin Foo's icy femme voice as opposed to Ian Brown's original male vocal. Don't get me wrong, I love the original, but I definitely have room for this version as well.

This was done in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Doc Marten's. There are a handful of other cover songs for this project, and you can listen and download the rest of the tracks here.

31.8.10

You gotta roll under

The past couple days, I've been listening Kathryn Calder's new album, Are You My Mother?, on repeat quite a bit. Seems to me that the album is tinged with an underlying sadness, even in the more musically upbeat songs. I looked at a couple reviews and learned that she wrote and recorded (most of?) the album while she was helping to take care of her mother, who passed last year.

Not having gone through an experience like that, this song, Low, captures what I think it would feel like to watch a loved one drifting, fading away. Her vocal is haunting and plainly beautiful, the way she sings "you gotta roll under, I gotta roll under, too", in reference to the rising tide. Take a deep breath and plunge underneath the wave. It's not a solemn dirge and she doesn't seem to be crying bitter tears about the unfairness of it all. It's very poignant, that realization that it was a good run despite the fact that the end is looming up ahead. Check the backup vocals and the organ, they have a hymnal quality to them, lending an almost church-like, celebration of life feel to the song.

Unfortunately, the reality and shadows are still there, and this song might be something you would whisper under your breath, almost like a mantra, while sitting in a hospital at 4am, holding someone's hand, waiting. You gotta roll under.

 Kathryn Calder > Low

28.8.10

I see you driving 'round town

Another great song of summer. When it released, it was everywhere, basically all over my RSS feed. I resisted a bit, initially, because of the title and the hype. Then I thought I'd check it out and now I can't get Cee-Lo Green's Fuck You outta my head. It's ridiculously catchy and a whole lotta fun. The video is pretty entertaining, as well. It's too bad the rest of the album doesn't hit until early December, I'm anxious to hear the other tracks. But, we have this for now, so turn that shit up!

Cee-Lo Green > Fuck You

25.8.10

I have faith in all you do

On the heels of Sun Kil Moon's latest album, Admiral Fell Promises, comes a 4-track EP called I'll Be There. The Jackson Five's I'll Be There is already a great song, and this is just a guy and a guitar, but Mark Kozelek is able to channel the essence of the song in a way that not many others can. Also, check out the Stereolab and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone covers on the EP, they're equally excellent. I picked this one because I'm hoping Madcat Joe writes about the Stereolab one.

Sun Kil Moon > I'll Be There

19.8.10

Wear your inside out


Fever Ray have covered Mercy Street, which is one of my all-time favorite Peter Gabriel songs. Apparently, Fever Ray have been playing it live from time to time, but I sadly did not get to witness it when I saw them in San Francisco last year. In any case, we have the tune now. I love it and it's going to drop on 7" before the end of the year.

Fever Ray > Mercy Street

13.8.10

Just One Wish

I've been meaning to post this but I've been deathly ill due to excessive drinking and carousing. You know how it goes.

In any case, this band is Still Corners and this song, Wish, will drop in about a week. All I can say is, wow. This song is so perfect, short and sweet. It's like a hazy memory of a summer you dreamt about in the future. And if you want more like I do, you can listen here.


10.8.10

I slipped behind your footsteps


So, I went to see Blondie last week. Even though it was 3/5 of the original band, I felt compelled to go and see them before they went away for good. One of my favorite quotes is from Debbie Harry, in a Rolling Stone interview from the late 80s, I believe. The writer asked her the inevitable question about Heart of Glass and the whole "selling out" thing, and she responded (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Yeah, we sold out. But at least we were the first ones to do it."

Blondie > Accidents Never Happen

23.7.10

One day I'll make him mine

Nothing makes a summer quite like unrequited love.

Best Coast's Crazy For You might be the album of the summer. Sunny pop gems about love (unrequited and otherwise), boys, cats and weed. What more could you want? Turn it up, open the windows and sing along at the top of your voice.

Best Coast > Boyfriend

17.7.10

The Smiths Project

 I stumbled onto Janice Whaley's Smiths Project a short time ago (via Slicing Up Eyeballs, which is a cool 80s sorta alternative music blog). She's basically trying to cover every Smiths song by the end of this year, and it looks like she's on track to hit that goal. You can go to the blog and listen, and you also can download tracks here. As of this writing, there are 32 tracks for your downloading pleasure. I also grabbed her widget thingy (man, that sounds dirty) from which you can listen here, as well. That is, if you're lazy and don't want to navigate away from here. Anyway, I think her endeavor is very cool and anyone who is a fan of The Smiths should give it a listen. And really, who doesn't like The Smiths?



stand alone playerQuantcast

7.7.10

No means no!


Has anybody else been listening to Katzenjammer? I recently got a hold of their debut album, Le Pop. Originally released in EU over a year ago, it just dropped here in the States last month. My initial encounter wasn't positive, I think you definitely need to be in the mood for a listen, at least the first time. My repeat listens got much, much better. This album is like a vaudeville show, or the soundtrack to a  maniacally dark carnival, whirling out of control. These girls are a lot of fun, and that's a great promo pic up there.

Check out this title track, it's pretty inspired and infectious.

Katzenjammer > Le Pop

6.7.10

Don't get me wrong

Independence Day has passed and summer is in full swing here in San Francisco, which means it's cold as fuck. Today, I spent a good part of the day at work with my space heater on full blast. In any case, if you're needing something to complete your annual badass summer mixtape, you can drop this one in your tracklist. I'm hazy on the details, but I'm pretty sure the Vivian Girls recorded this as a contribution to an upcoming David Bowie tribute album. It's jangly and pretty faithful to the original. I've road-tested it many times and I can assure you, this song sounds great when you turn it up in the car. Hear for yourself.

Vivian Girls > John, I'm Only Dancing

2.7.10

Grinderman 2

The new Grinderman, Grinderman 2, is coming soon (September 13). I've found these amusing promos for the new album. Apparently, John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road) directed the one with the snarling wolf.






Also, the first single, Heathen Child, will drop on August 30. The cover cracks me up. I cannot wait for this. The first Grinderman album was on constant rotation when I got my hands on it, and the gig was brilliant, my favorite of that year. Check out the boys killing Honey Bee on the Letterman show.

27.6.10

I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead


I kinda went off them for a bit, but I really liked the latest Mogwai's 2008 album, The Hawk is Howling. They have a live album coming at the end of August, titled Special Moves. I really love this version of I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead, which happens to be my favorite track from THIH.

Mogwai > I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead

22.6.10

Spanish bombs rock the province

My friend, John, hipped me to this Tijuana No!, telling me that they performed one of his favorite versions of The Clash's Spanish Bombs. I don't know much about the band, but I really like this track as well. I especially like the way the singer enunciates the words. It might be the slight accent that does it for me. So, no big write up here about how this song changed my life, I simply dig this track and I don't really know the band.

Tijuana No! > Spanish Bombs

17.6.10

Trying to scrounge a dime

I've been listening quite a bit lately to Karen Elson's debut album, The Ghost Who Walks. The album has a kinda alt-country noir vibe to it which, for me, recalls Neko Case's classic album, Blacklisted (except without The Voice). Spare, haunting, eerie, dark and brooding. And I'm not saying they're equals, just that Elson is pointing in this direction. Mouths to Feed is one of my favorite tracks (so far) on the album. It seems to be a depression-era dust bowl story about the rich getting richer while the poor are left standing beside the road. I particularly love her voice on this track and the violins, for me, really round out the feel of the music. I could lose myself for days in a song like this.

Karen Elson > Mouths To Feed

12.6.10

Represent!

The Sharks' Western Conference disappearing act is but a faded memory, and now it's World Cup time. Check out Weezer's tribute to Team USA. It's called Represent, and you can get it for free on iTunes. Check it out.

6.6.10

I don't know how to stop


I convinced D, the other day, to listen to some of the earlier Peter Gabriel albums. She was checking his new album, Scratch My Back, which is on my playlist. She had told me her dad used to listen to Genesis and Gabriel in the car when she was young, but she wasn't overly familiar with it. So I brought in a few albums for her to peruse. My favorite is the one with Peter Gabriel's melting face, which is his third self-titled solo album.

In any case, the point of this is that I listened to this album again, and it brought back a flood of memories. Lying on the bed and reading while listening. Studying the personnel list, which eventually and inevitably led to other exciting musical discoveries.Tony Levin and Robert Fripp pointed the way to King Crimson. Paul Weller opened the door to The Jam. In addition to producing this album, Steve Lillywhite produced U2, Big Country (laugh if you must, but I loved those first couple albums), and XTC, who were other bands I was getting into around that time.


Although I vaguely knew her name from singing backup on Gabriel's melty face album, a few years would pass before I discovered who Kate Bush really was. We didn't have cable television back then, my dad refused to pay for TV. I used to go over to Peter's, his mom was pretty cool and she worked nights which meant she was generally asleep during the day and we could watch whatever we wanted, usually some retarded horror flick or a baseball game. This one particular day, I think Peter was distracted by something. Maybe a girl on the phone, or whatever. I was flipping through the channels when I stumbled upon this gorgeous girl wearing chain mail and brandishing a sword. I was captivated, and when Peter was done with his distraction, I wouldn't let him change the channel until I found out the name of this warrior woman. The song was Babooshka, the name of the program was The Single File (which was a compilation of her videos), and the singer turned out to be Kate Bush. Amazing. I rushed out as soon as I could and picked up Hounds of Love, which was her current release at the time.

Strange how the mind works, this started out as an ode to Peter Gabriel, and I end up gushing over Kate Bush. Complete lack of discipline. I'm gonna leave it as it is, however, and I'll leave with these tunes. Peter Gabriel's No Self Control, on which you can hear Kate Bush singing backup. Kate Bush's Babooshka, which pretty much is the starting point of my lifelong Kate Bush odyssey. I actually have to belatedly thank the USA Network for airing that video. Who would have thought that one could see obscure Kate Bush videos on American network television?

And sometime soon, I will have to write up a little post on my favorite duet ever, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush singing Don't Give Up, which appears on Gabriel's 1986 album, So. I'll save that one for later.

Peter Gabriel > No Self Control


Kate Bush > Babooshka


Lastly, as a little bonus, here is the video for Kate Bush's spellbinding Babooshka:

2.6.10

03.45 - No Sleep


but if I had one wish fulfilled tonight
I'd ask for the sun to never rise
if God passed the mic to me to speak
I'd say, "stay in bed world
...sleep in peace..."


The Cardigans - 03.45-No Sleep

30.5.10

We can't hide the way it makes us glow


Lately, I've been addicted to Beach House's Take Care. I love the warm feeling of the song, the way it gently floats on a spring breeze. The way Victoria Legrand sings "I'll take care of you/take care of you/that's true" is dreamy and comforting, helped along by a little bit of reverb. It's something you'd whisper to a loved one in the darkest of nights as you are finally drifting to sleep just before dawn breaks.

You can find this on Beach House's excellent album, Teen Dream. While I'm talking about it, I can't say that I love the first couple albums (Beach House and Devotion), but they kept me interested enough to keep following. Teen Dream dropped (earlier this year) and blew me away. It's utterly gorgeous.

Beach House > Take Care

27.5.10

I'd make wine from your tears

I can't say I was ever a huge fan of INXS' Never Tear Us Apart when it originally dropped. At the time, thought it was too melodramatic, too bombastic and, worst of all, overplayed. I hear the original every now and then and it's really a decent song. I think my dislike for it stemmed from the fact that it was just a product of its time coupled with my distaste for chart music. That said, I really dig this cover by Beck's Record Club. The Record Club appears to be a rotating cast of whomever he can gather to come hang out in his studio to cover random albums. They've already done Skip Spence, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and Leonard Cohen. Right now, they're in the middle of INXS. You can check out the rest of the Record Club entries by clicking here.

17.5.10

RIP Ronnie James Dio

I spent a good chunk of time in high school listening to Ronnie James Dio fronting Black Sabbath and his own band. I was a nerd outcast with very few friends, and I loved metal in those days. I actually saw Black Sabbath on the Mob Rules tour in 81 or 82, somewhere around there. I got my mom to take me, if you can believe that one. Yeah, that was way back. Dio was one of those guys that could transport you to other worlds, with his lyrics of angels, demons, good & evil and rainbows. He seemed to mention rainbows more often than one would think. RIP to one of metal's original voices. This was one of my favorite tracks from his epic and classic album, Holy Diver. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna drink a few flasks of mead and go slay a level 50 dragon in honor of Dio. \m/

16.5.10

I was not sitting with the gargoyles


I don't know where it came from or how, but I am completely obsessed with Hiding All Away by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. It's got this menacing lurch, like a monster looming in the distance, its shadow cast upon you as it slowly moves in your direction. I'm not sure what to make of the lyrics, it seems sorta like a stream-of-consciousness rant. Maybe about God, and how he is everywhere no matter what is going on? Nick Cave has never shied away from religious imagery, so I wouldn't doubt it. I like the part where the backup singers sorta lose it and start laughing. Finally, when there is no more tension to build, the climax of the song hits. The band practically explodes and all of the voices are shouting "THERE IS A WAR COMING!", and it makes me either want to take shelter or run out in the streets, screaming along with them.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds > Hiding All Away

9.5.10

Happy Mother's Day

For all you mothers and mothers-to-be, here's an amusing little story from the legendary Tom Waits.

Tom Waits > Untitled #2

25.4.10

Passions just like mine

A long time ago, I went to see a friend who was living in Santa Barbara at the time. I decided to head down there on my motorcycle and I took the scenic route, Highway 101 to Highway 1, if I remember correctly. It was roughly a 7 or 8 hour trip. I think around when I hit Monterey, The Smiths' Cemetry Gates somehow slipped into my head, I have no idea why. All I can remember from the ride, though, is me, my motorcycle, the highway...and that song in my head. All the way down to Santa Barbara. It could have been a worse song, I guess. It's just a little maddening after the first few hours.

The Smiths > Cemetry Gates

18.4.10

Road Trip Mix


In about a week, I'm going on a road/camping trip which will last two weeks. I think we're hitting seven national parks and driving roughly 3000 miles. I made a little mix to accompany me on the roads of the USA. Roughly two and a half hours of music and nearly 200mb. Some old stuff, some new, meticulously edited for flow; hopefully it works on some level. Click below the tracklist to grab it if you're interested. Enjoy and see you in a few weeks!

1. PARAN MAUM - Linda Linda
2. My Bloody Valentine - She Loves You No Less
3. The Primitives - All The Way Down (Beat Version)
4. that dog - Never Say Never
5. Old 97's - Timebomb
6. Nerves - Hanging On The Telephone
7. Nick Lowe - So It Goes
8. Big Audio Dynamite II - Rush
9. Laura Nyro - Jimmy Mack
10. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cities In Dust
11. Daft Punk - Robot Rock
12. Perfume - Fushizen na Girl
13. Sambassadeur - That Town
14. Chocolat - Girls Talk
15. Curve - Coming Up Roses (Red Star Yellow Star Mix)
16. Caroline - Pink & Black
17. Akira Kosemura - Light Dance
18. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - The Mother
19. Death Cab For Cutie - A Movie Script Ending
20. Badly Drawn Boy - A Minor Incident
21. Parachutes - Your Stories
22. L.E.O. - Goodbye Innocence
23. The Hot Toddies - HTML
24. Babybird - Unloveable (Feat. Johnny Depp)
25. Monster Movie - From A Distance
26. Mogwai - I'm Jim Morrison I'm Dead
27. The Postmarks - No One Said This Would Be Easy
28. COLTEMONIKHA - sleeping girl
29. Karen O And The Kids - All Is Love
30. Mirah - Person Person
31. Amy Millan - I Will Follow You Into The Dark
32. Mayer Hawthorne - Make Her Mine
33. King Harvest - Dancing In The Moonlight
34. She & Him - Over It Over Again
35. Slowdive - When The Sun Hits
36. Takako Minekawa - Never/More (Sweet Trip Remix)
37. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Everybody Wants to Rule the World

>>click<<

9.4.10

Looking back, it seems so strange


I was having lunch, yesterday, in this place across the street from where I work. I like going in there late because it's usually empty and they usually have some anonymous classic rock radio station going. The cool thing about the music is it's not always the usual suspects that come to mind when you hear the phrase, "classic rock". Sometimes they're deeper cuts, and perhaps bands that you might have to go out of your way to find. I think you know what I mean.

So I'm sitting there and they bust out with Thin Lizzy's Cowboy Song, which I haven't heard in ages. It totally took me back to when I was a kid and I walked over to The Wherehouse (does anybody remember that chain of record stores?) to buy Thin Lizzy's The Boys Are Back In Town b/w Jailbreak on 7". I played that 45 to death, and I eventually picked up that Jailbreak album, which I loved. And those three tracks; The Boys Are Back In Town, Jailbreak and Cowboy Song were probably my favorites. I was slow to recognize the song at first, but I think I got a little emotional when I realized I was listening to Cowboy Song. Good thing the joint was empty.

Thin Lizzy > Cowboy Song

4.4.10

Vanessa


I'm gonna start with Vanessa, because this song was the one that gave me this idea.

I first came across Vanessa around 2002, I think, when I used to post on the Aimee Mann message board. We bonded over a Fiona Apple song called Never Is A Promise, specifically the "live on KCRW" version of the track (which I absolutely adore). You can find it on Volume 3 of KCRW's Rare on Air series, if you want to look for it.

Things around the message board got kinda weird, so I deleted all of my posts and decided to just live on the now-defunct Bowlie forum. I didn't feel particularly attached to the Aimee Mann community, and I spent way more time at Bowlie, anyways. Vanessa was the only person (on the Aimee board) I really liked, so I told her I was gonna bail, sent a Bowlie link to her and asked her to come along. To my surprise, she did and everything turned out pretty cool. We got to hang out more than a few times and we became pretty good friends. I'm fairly sure the pic above is from a Bowlie meet in New York in 2003. If it wasn't for this Fiona Apple track, we might not have chatted much at all.

Fiona Apple > Never Is A Promise (live KCRW)

Friends and Songs

I've been toying with this idea in my head. I want to post songs that remind me of friends/acquaintances, maybe a pic of the person if I have one. However, it's actually kinda hard to come up with concise ideas, like this song represents this person and that's that, mainly because most of the people I know are very much into music, think of the peeps in High Fidelity. And to make matters more confusing, they are into music that's all across the board and very difficult to pin down. So, I'm gonna give this a go, just because I think it'll be fun, and like most things around here, it's going to be very informal. Since I'm going strictly off my memory, I'll expect get little details wrong, like when I met someone or the bands they like. You've been forewarned. Thanks for reading and listening.

29.3.10

Polaroid Piano


A couple years ago, someone from the old Bowlie board hipped me to Akira Kosemura via a mixtape trade. I liked the track and I grabbed the album, but only recently have I begun to further investigate Kosemura. Last month, I ran into his album, Polaroid Piano, which is quite lovely. It's like the sound of a lazy spring day lying in the sun; dreamy, quiet and warm. With that in mind, you can just look at the album cover above and imagine you're lying somewhere in there while listening to the album. I also quite like the fact that you can hear the creak of the piano pedals, as if you might be sitting in the same room in which he's playing. Also, the album is very short (the longest song is 4 minutes and change) which makes it a pleasant listen, and leaves you wanting a little bit more. Sorta like that nap in the sun, you wish it would go on and on but it always ends too soon and is never enough.

After you listen to April, you can stream more Akira Kosemura here, if you're so inclined.

Akira Kosemura > April

Unloveable

I just caught this Babybird video (via Popmatters), Unloveable. The video is directed by Johnny Depp, who also apparently plays guitar on the track. The track is from a new Babybird album, Ex-Maniac, which dropped earlier this month. Nice to see Babybird is still going, I haven't really kept up with them. Listen to more Babybird here and check out the official site here.

9.3.10

Love Is All Around

Another vid, it's Kiki's Delivery Service vs. Joan Jett's Love Is All Around

Sam Bell

Something I made while playing around with Movie Maker, it's Moon vs. The Album Leaf's Blank Pages.

Long is the way...

 


I made a mix for myself for fun, so I thought I'd post it here in case anybody else might be interested. It's mostly new-ish stuff, with a few older tunes. It's long, so beware. You might want to digest it in little chunks, or maybe just put it on at work and let it roll. Download link below!

1. The Album Leaf - Blank Pages
2. Akira Kosemura - It's on Everything
3. The Knife - Colouring Of Pigeons
4. Dinah Washington & Max Richter - This Bitter Earth/On The Nature of Daylight
5. Four Tet - Love Cry
6. Beach House - Norway
7. Lali Puna - Move On
8. Ra Ra Riot - Suspended In Gaffa
9. Sambassadeur - High And Low
10. Apparatjik - Antlers
11. UNKLE - Natural Selection (Team Ghost Remix)
12. Phantogram - When I'm Small
13. Gemma Hayes - Cloudbusting
14. El Perro Del Mar - Hello Goodbye
15. Theoretical Girl - Thorn in My Side (Stripped Down Demo)
16. Flight Of The Conchords - Hurt Feelings
17. jj - Things Will Never Be The Same Again
18. The Radio Dept. - Heaven's On Fire
19. Autour de Lucie - L'accord Parfait
20. Marina and The Diamonds - I Am Not A Robot
21. Miles Kurosky - Pink Lips, Black Lungs
22. Charlotte Gainsbourg - Greenwich Mean Time
23. Lucky Soul - White Russian Doll
24. HALCALI - BABY BLUE (BABY BLUE IS GOOD MIX)
25. Surfer Blood - Swim
26. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll
27. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Bottled In Cork
28. Squeeze - Up The Junction
29. Sweet Trip - Pretending
>>click<<

3.3.10

Crooked teeth and everything

 

I'm really digging this track by Unkle. Having never really listened to them before, I am fairly certain it is a new track. The thing is, I found it while I was looking up Team Ghost, a new project of Nicolas Fromageau, who is formerly of M83. This particular Unkle track, which is remixed by Team Ghost, is streaming here. Look for the Team Ghost EP, which is coming soon, on Sonic Cathedral. And now it seems I should dig deepr into Unkle. Recommendations would be welcome.

Unkle > Natural Selection (Team Ghost Remix)

The worst songs you'll ever hear at a sporting event

This is the holy trinity, right here.






25.2.10

You're just a small light

I'm really enjoying the new Lali Puna album, Our Inventions. There's something about Valerie Trebeljahr's voice that's very soothing and comforting. Their electronic pop music is warm and inviting. I often feel like I can sink into a Lali Puna song and land softly. Or maybe like the song is a cloud and it floats me to someplace where the skies may be grey, with hopeful glimpses of blue. Their songs are like a heaven made up of 1s and 0s. Or something.

Stream more Lali Puna tracks here, check out their webpage here and buy music over here.

Lali Puna > Move On

14.2.10

Just one time with a monkey wrench


In 1993, the Mario Brothers received the Jellyfish pop song treatment. If only all songs about video games were this cool, or good. A b-side from Jellyfish's New Mistake single, Ignorance Is Bliss is a lyrically straightforward tune concerning the characters from the game and sung from the perspective of Bowser, King of the Koopas. Musically, it's like the mad hatter of pop songs; stopping, starting, speeding up and seemingly about to whirl out of control and fly off the planet. Some parts of it also remind me of a stage play for some reason. It's all so Jellyfish, I don't think I could name another band who might be able to pull off a song like this these days. I love how it ends, when he says so casually and dismissively, "On second thought, I think I've made my point.", and the song waltzes and fades. Wonderful.

Jellyfish > Ignorance Is Bliss