Sunday, December 30, 2007

my year, my year, will finally disappear


hi, how are you? sometimes i stray. i started this blog as a sort of musical diary, as a way to sort out, musically, all that was going on in my life. but i get distracted...i put up videos...so, i guess i haven't strayed. that's how my mind works. every blog i've posted this year has meant something very specific to me. you won't ever really understand but when i look back on it i know what triggered each entry.

the year has been difficult. my best friend lost a child. my marriage ended. other things...smaller things...

and this may sound trite: i would not have made it through this year without music. i wouldn't have had an outlet. or a reference point. or a friend.

for example, i'm listening to 'blood on the tracks' right now. and every song speaks to me. the loss, the sadness, the struggle to accept it all. the deep sadness in dylans' voice singing 'you're a big girl now'.

or 'magic and loss' by lou reed. a brilliant album dealing with death. head on. 'you loved a life others throw away nightly, it's not fair, not fair at all'. i used to think of my dad when i heard that song. now i think of a 6 month old and his father. and how could i even deal with that without this song?

god only knows. 'god only knows'. that's my favorite song. i danced to it on my wedding day. it put into words and music how i felt about the woman i loved. i haven't listened to it since my marriage ended. but i will again someday. and it will always be my favorite song.

and i listened to 'game of pricks' by gbv this afternoon. 'can't call you or on you no more/when they're attacking me'. 'i'll climb up on the house/weep to water the trees'. i thought of my home. the one i visit bi-weekly, and i felt so sad. but i also felt comforted. like my friend had an arm around me, kissing me on the top of my head saying 'it'll be ok, i promise'.

and i listened to 'peep hole'. and the line 'i'm looking inside your brain/and christ it's a cluttered mess/i love you i must confess'. and i know...

now 'idiot wind' is playing and my bullshit machismo is rising up. fuck it.

and the kinks played. and springsteeen. and costello and the replacements. and scott walker and joy division and the talking heads and eno and robert wyatt and elliott smith and jay bennett and black flag and wussy and wilco and nina simone and flaming lips and mercury rev and...and...hundreds of others.

and what would i have done without them?

and my brother got married this year. that was wonderful.

and tom petty played.

and i gained a fantastic sister-in-law. a sister.

and the beach boys played at their wedding.

'don't worry baby, everything will turn out allright'.

and the kiss on my forehead.

thank you, thank you.

Kinks - How Do I Get Close

does anyone else remember this song? it's really, really great. think it was on 'uk jive'? terrible video, but really, listen to it. beautiful.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

petty on shandling

i totally remember seeing this when it aired. i actually think of it often. yeah...anyway, loved the show, love the song!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down - Elvis Costello

his version of a great merle haggard song. i love a good drinking song! almost as much as i love a good drink! and yea, that's nick lowe on bass and john hiatt on guitar and backing vox. 'almost blue', which this song is on, has become one of my fave costello albums.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lou Barlow Brand New Love(live)

such a fantastic song. vicious and gentle and ugly and sweet. when he says 'anyone can be a brand new love', he means it as a threat, or a warning, right? please, correct me if i'm wrong.

RUNAWAY - Del Shannon

i've been listening to a shitload of dell shannon latley. he killed himself, y'know. he's just so good. such an amazing voice. great surfy guitar. and that keyboard! there's no one like him. you know, people of my generation were raised thinking the beatles were the shit. they were good, sure. but i'd put on 'hats off to del shannon' way before i'd put on sgt. pepper. in fact i'd like to be put on record as saying 'sgt.pepper' is a piece of shit. except for 'day in the life'. but really, is there a 'i just wansn't made for these times' on that album? no, there's not. fuck the beatles.

Monday, December 24, 2007

1 of 5 reasons to like christmas:#5

a perfect song.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

1 of 5 reasons to like christmas:#3

this song sums up everything i feel about christmas! ha!

Friday, December 21, 2007

1 of 5 reasons to like christmas:no 2

one of my favorite melodies of all time.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

1 of 5 reasons to like christmas

i hate christmas. fucking hate it. but i love xmas music. so the top 5 begins today. enjoy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

-aholic


i buy alot of records. lots, lots, lots! these are the 5 i got this week:


1.the minus 5-down with wilco

2.betty davis-betty davis

3.the only ones-best of

4.big youth-screaming target

5.del shannon-20 greatest hits


i'm not gonna explain them. but if you want to buy any one of them you will not be disappointed. right now i'm playing del shannon. that voice! ooohhhhh!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Buena Vista Social Club - Chan Chan

know what's great and exciting about music? you'll never hear it all.

Monday, December 17, 2007

song of the week


once a week (maybe, i may lose interest next week) i'll declare a 'song of the week'. i'll print the lyrics, recommend that you download it (ugh), and discuss what i like about it.

this weeks song is 'dear employer (the reason i quit) by the minus 5. the minus 5 is Scott McCaughey's (of young fresh fellows and rem) band with various sidekicks. this one is with wilco and peter buck.

couple of reasons i picked this. first, always, is the fantastic melody. sung over and over in a pretty consistent laid back way. wilco shines on the track. similar in buildup to 'via chicago' there is a simple chord structure embellished by electronic gurgles, an erratic mix, drums that almost serve as a double lyric. they rush when necessary, silence when needed.

a two week notice, the song is. some guy quitting a shit job. he mentions escalators. he's like me. at a job you do and don't think about. he's moving on to something better. than the class element enters into it. 'you commanded me'. 'when you were knee high, higher than i'. i love the impersonality of it. 'dear employer', 'sir', 'mr. smith', it's all the same. you do it to somebody too, and you spent a lot more money to do it.

than it gets personal. 'cuz i'm a lost cause, causing a problem', 'i'll be long gone, long gone and rotting, long gone and ulcerous, nothing untold'. suddenly it's a suicide note. is the employer a boss or family. is there a difference?

and the music swirls. 'that's the reason that i quit'.

a beautiful song.


Dear employer I'd like to tell you It's been wonderful for all these years

But now you know I've got a new shoe And I'll be wearing it so far from here
Dear employer your escalators Are very dangerous on the way down

They rip the skin and they pull you in Spit out the boney bits and coffee grounds
Dear employer I heard a story When you were just knee-high higher than I

You built the wings and the propeller too

With balsa wood and glue you made it fly
Dear employer you commanded me Your commendations now don't mean as much

Cause I'm a lost cause causing a problem

And I promise to be way out of touch
Dear employer when you hear the news Please save the saintly words for saintly souls

Cause I'll be long gone long gone and rotting

Long gone and ulcerous nothing untold
That's the reason that I quit The reason that I quit That's the reason that I quit

The reason that I quit That's the reason that I quit The reason that I quit

That's the reason

That's the reason
That's the reason

that's the reason

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Del Shannon - Hats Off To Larry

del shannon was the shit. great song, great sound, great voice. and this is from the '80's! what was he doing in that awful decade?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

studio rehearsals - Burnin and lootin - Bob Marley

you're probably not gonna see this one in a commercial. THIS is punk.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Only Ones - Another Girl Another Planet Music Video

this is one of my favorite songs. not that it's any of your fucking business.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Passenger - Iggy Pop

what can i say about iggy? he was cooler than anyone in the '70's and, well, can you name someone cooler than him now?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stephen Stills Manassas - It Doesn't Matter

great song off of a superb album. he has such a great voice. and that guitar is so fucking cool.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

ROBERT WYATT FREE WILL AND TESTAMENT

when was the last time you heard a robert wyatt song on the radio? let me anser that for you: you've never heard a robert wyatt song on the radio. a true artist, philosopher, and intellectual. so i guess that's three strikes against him.
the last minute of this clip is glorious.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

something i learned today


you know what' great? sitting and listening to music. have you done it lately? i mean just sit there and listen. don't have it on while you clean the house. don't have it playing in the other room. just sit there (or preferably lay) and listen.

today i listened to robert wyatt's new one 'comicopera'.

then i had on the first manassas album. hate csn, love manassas!

then i put on the martin hannett collection that big beat put out. you know martin hannett right? yea, he's great.

i had on nick cave's 'no more shall we part' on for a while, but it wasn't exactly what i wanted. it's a fine album tho' and if you don't know it, well, i'm sure you have your good points too.

and i lay there. and relaxed. and let it all wash over me.

now, some people may have said i wasted my day. some people may have been out with their pals today, maybe watching the football game. do they play football on sat.? if you know the answer to that get off this page. i hate you and you're not welcome back. some people may have spent the day getting some work done around the house. i can't blame you. the place is a fucking mess!

me? i just lay there. like a slob. unshaved and in my pajamas. just absorbing the music. listening to every bit of it. the oddball percussion on the manassas album. the quiet beauty of robert wyatt. the outerspace pop of martin hannett. i lay there and took it all in.

and i feel like i got alot done. i feel like i'm better than when i woke up. when i'm at work tomorrow i will close my eyes when the headache hits, i will think of a record spinning 33 and 1/3revolutions per minute and i will be ok. i will be ok.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Jeff Tweedy-theologians

great version of one of my fave wilco songs. 'a ghost is born'. how can you argue with a line like that?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Yardbirds - Train Kept a Rollin' (live 1966)

one of the great riffs of all time. so tough sounding.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

To love somebody Nina Simone

i heard this version of the great bee gees song for the first time the other day. i may like it better than the flying burrito brothers version.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

for these last few days leave me alone

i think i would have like new order alot more if this is the direction they had continued in after ian curtis died. i mean, i like them and all, but, this and ceremony are by far their best songs.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Nick Lowe - Without Love

nick lowe is a genius songwriter and doesn't get nearly enough respect.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

well said pt. 5


I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality. ~H.A. Overstreet

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Kinks - Muswell Hillbilly

one of the many shames of radio is that they ignore so many great kinks songs.

New York Dolls-Personality Crisis

i love the stones, but the faces and the dolls were both much better bands. and they ended on time.

The The - This is the day

yep, i got into this song because it was in a commercial. sue me. they're like a sulky they might be giants!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

into the morning


i woke up this morning with van morrison's 'into the music' on my mind. more specifically the song 'and the healing has begun'. this is better than what i usually wake up with. thoughts of (names and situations deleted) and (actions deleted) and how i'm gonna (more actions deleted).

no, this morning i awoke gently, almost, dare i say, hopefully, with a song in my head. more like a series of songs, a culmination of the entire album swimming through my brain. songs rubbing my shoulders and legs, easing me out of bed, into the cold air. i heard horns, violin, crisp drums, a clean bass, a choir of women, and a voice unlike any other in the library of rock.

maybe it was the easy stop and go of 'steeping out queen' that got me rolling.

or maybe it was the downright buoyant 'bright side of the street' that sent the shadows running.

oohhh, the female chorus breakdown at the end of 'stepping out queen' is playing. beautiful.

i bought this album for 3 bucks. hardly seems fair now. i should have had to pay alot more. this is the van i like. full on irish poet, gypsies, days of yore, troubadours, etc.

no one else could get away with these lyrics. they'd sound trite. only coming from this well know curmudgeon could these words sound so romantic and sincere.


pt.2

just took a break. know what i mean? now my head is swimming in notes again. glad i got this on vinyl. i wonder if 'angeliou' would have the same impact if it were just track no. 7, instead of side 2, track 1. it sounds like a side 2, track 1.

some of the music i like, i like because i don't understand it. guys like scott walker, or pere ubu, where i just can't get my head around how someone can compose music that way. with van morrison i understand. it's pretty basic stuff. beautifully done, but basic. with van, it's the summoning of emotion i can't understand. how do you summon and control such overpowereing emotion. how do you sing the lines:

and we'll walk down the avenue again

and we'll sing all the songs from way back when

and we'll walk down the avenue again

and the healing has begun

: without becoming overwhelmed? with the gospely music swirling behind you, with the ring of a ride cymbal chiming in your ears? and how do you call up the melancholy required for the vocal blowout during the mid-section? and how do you do this over and over again for decades, without losing your mind? or your spirit?


and i see where the hopefulness i woke with came from.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Sweet - Ballroom Blitz

kevin dubrow of quiet riot died on sunday. that made me think of slade. than i thought of sweet for some reason. then i got this song stuck in my head all day. it's a good one, too. now, maybe, it'll be in your head. this one's for you mr. dubrow!

Monday, November 26, 2007

totally wired-the fall

the mighty fall.
coolest...
band...
ever.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rod Stewart and the Faces. Maggie May

i'm posting this for four reasons:
1. great song
2. the faces are so fucking cool
3. ron wood's ridiculous attempt at faking a guitar solo.
4. the guy pretending to play the mandolin is john peel.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Minutemen - King of the Hill

i love the minutemen. i love them more with a trumpet!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - Ashtray Heart (1980)

you know, i realize i haven't posted any capt. beefheart stuff. for shame!
he's in full on preacher mode in this clip from snl. i can see why the punks loved him. sax solo at the end is fucking incredible. the audience seems stunned. does someone shout 'shit'?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pere Ubu - Birdies (Urgh! A Music War)

get to know them.
i'm going somewhere...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

for those about to rock: take 5


i love rock. love, love, love rock. i'd hang myself from the beams in the basement if i didn't have it. but once in a while you need a break. so i listen to artists that, although you may find them under rock in the record store, aren't exactly that. brian eno, robert wyatt, you know, guys like that. but most importantly scott walker. i admire his integrity. if he wanted to sell some albums he easily could. do an oldies tour with the walker bros. record in the style of scott 3. you know, take the easy way out. instead he chooses to challenge himself and the listener. with provocative and fascinating results.

today i bought his new album, 'and who shall go to the ball? and what shall go to the ball?' it's a score written to accompany a dance piece in England. i'm not an expert on dance but i'm not really sure how one would dance to this piece. not as heavy as 'tilt' or 'the drift' it is still harsh, noisy, minimal, and patience testing. there are electronic throbs, shrill string swirls, slow steady bass drum beats, and long silences. there are also beautiful string flourishes, moments of pure grace. all in all, a moving (get it?) work of art.

now, i know, we can't all agree on scott walker. i suspect his music would make 98% of the population walk out of a room. that's one of the reason i like it. art should challenge you. it should make you think. anyone can make you hum a tune. not everyone can make you ruminate on life, death, and the in between. there is music and there is art and sometimes there is both.

Friday, November 16, 2007

joy division

saw 'control' today. i don't do movie reviews, but it's good and you should see it.
this is the real joy division performing 'transmission'. one of the great songs of all time.
and, yes, that IS the magnificent john cooper clarke at intro and outro. so really, this is a 2 for 1 blog!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

things been a little tight, but i know they're gonna turn my way


last week this girl at work brought me in a copy of the new springsteen album, "magic". as she handed it to me she said, "i don't like it".
curious.
i've known her for a little while and have found her taste in music pretty good. she declared 'nebraska' was her favorite springsteen album.mine too.so, i brought the new one home already a little skeptical.she was dead fucking wrong.the album is a masterpiece. the best e street band album since 'the river'. it's a new direction, and also a return to form. his voice has definitely become more expressive, more restrained, not a wasted note. no 'whoops' or hollers.the e street band has become more of a guitar band. 3 guitar players will do that. but there is room for clarence's sax, used more effectively on this album than anything since 'born to run'.did i mention this album is, sonically, a natural successor to 'born to run'. there's a very produced sound to it. this ain't 'the river'. they worked on this. when i put this into the cd rack i'm putting it before 'darkness'. fuck chronology.

'radio nowhere' is his best single since 'dancing in the dark'. an all out guitar assault on modern radio. but also on the cheapening of art, and beauty, and all that makes life more than just a march towards death. '' i was spinnin' 'round a dead dial /Just another lost number in a file/Dancin' down a dark hole/ Just searchin' for a world with some soul". and know what the best part of the song is? the way the harmony on the 'mystery train' line lingers a half beat too long. yea, that's it.

there are references to past albums. songs like 'you'll be comin' down' and 'i'll work for your love' wouldn't sound out of place on 'darkness on the edge of town'. 'Livin' in the future' references 'cover me' and '10th avenue freeze out', (two songs i never really cared for) and bests them both. 'terry's song', the hidden track, is a tribute to a friend who died this year. it's machismo and sensitivity combine to make one of springsteen's most personal, and pretty, songs.

sounds good, right?

but, why is it a classic?

because of two songs. 'your own worst enemy' and 'girls in their summer clothes'. two of bruce's finest songs. ever. seriously. up there with 'born to run', 'hungry heart', etc.

'your own worst enemy' is, sonically, springsteen's masterpiece. if the walker brothers had recorded this it would be their 2nd best song. like all his best songs it mixes the political with the personal. fingerprints left at the scene of a crime, insomnia, the world 'falling apart' ( a theme he returns to on the album more than once). 'you closed your eyes and saw her/ you knew who you were'. 'your world keeps spinning round and round/ now everythings turned upside down'. 'once the family felt secure/ now no ones very sure'. economic crisis? divorce? death? it's abstract, but all encompassing. and he summons the bruce of 'asbury park' with a gorgeous, clean vocal. sounding, seriously, like scott walker. and max weinberg gets to live out his hal blaine fantasy.

now, whoa....'girls in their summer clothes'. and this is why i mentioned the girl at work. not just to show i talk to girls. this song may show why i love this album so much and she was not so impressed. this song makes me wish i was 19 again, sitting in johnny p.'s backyard, polishing off a beer ball with the mineola girls. in many ways a traditional springsteen number. 'the girls in their summer clothes/in the cool of the evening light/the girls in their summer clothes pass me by'. almost seems trite, no? if the melody wasn't so gorgeous it might be. the song summons all that is beautiful, and sad, about being a young man. the struggle between being 'a guy' and the longing for love. the melancholy of 'the rubber ball smacks', and the bravado of 'My jackets on, I'm out the door/And tonight I'm gonna burn this town down'. and it all sound like a stroll down memory lane with 'the wrecking crew' holding your hand for the trip. than the last verse hits. the kids grown up, weathered and tired, but not finished. 'She went away, she cut me like a knife /Hello beautiful thing, maybe you could save my life /In just a glance, down here on magic street /Loves a fool's dance /And I ain't got much sense, but I still got my feet'.

and this is where i'm gonna get in trouble. there is no way a woman can understand this song. because they don't know how they affect men. especially meeker men. there's a difference in the longings of men and women. ladies, you may love the melody, it's bruce's finest, but you will never, ever, really get this song.

i said some of these things to the girl at work. well, i glossed over the last part, and here's what she said to me:

'wow, you've got alot to say about this album'.

yes. yes i do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Black Cab Sessions. Chapter Six: Daniel Johnston

such a great song. in a perfect world all the james taylor songs you hear on the radio would be replaced by daniel's songs. it's not a perfect world.

check out blackcabsessions.com

Monday, November 12, 2007

Waterboys • The Whole of the Moon • 1985 Concert

saw them last night. now i'm awful tired. i won't bore you with details but it was great. moving and sincere and mike scott is very cool. when they played this i, well, swooned...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sam Cooke - Nothing Can Change This Love

know who's a better singer than sam cooke?
nobody.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Primitives - Crash

i remember i was huge into the ramones when this came out. i think this is the first song where i could pick out an influence. great, great song, and if i'm not mistaken 'lovely' was a pretty solid album.
oh, and i want to start a band with tracy louise cattell.
shit, i think i want to start a family with her.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

tom petty, i forgive you for stealing from paul westerberg


just finished watching the new tom petty documentary "runnin' down a dream" directed by peter bogdanovich. you know, the feller with the kerchief.

i've owned some petty albums, always been a casual fan. but watching this really made me appreciate the uniqueness of his career. truly a rebel, and it's not just a persona. he really didn't take shit from anyone. he may be, in fact, the most punk major label recording artist of all time. it's a wonder he was never dropped and banished by the 'biz'.

several things pointed out in the film will make me listen with fresh ears. the main one was when someone (i forget who) mention the sadness of his voice. i suppose i've always had the image of t.p. as a 'take it as it comes' semi-hippy. the man does love his weed. but when i think about out it, his songs are very melancholy. 'southern accents'? i've rarely heard a lovelier song. that line about his mom kills me.

and let me mention this: when he performs 'the waiting' with eddie vedder, it's just unbelievably moving. vedder looks like he's about to jump out of his skin with excitement. they then cut to an interview where he talks about how songs are so important, and how he can remember where he was when he heard specific ones, and how they made him feel. he wonders whether artists really appreciate how important their work is to people. young people. music is there when they need it most.

i remember i bought 'the waiting' single at a garage sale. it's my fave t.p. song.

so thanks to tom petty for always being around. for not making to much of a fuss about it. and thanks for being (arguably) the most punk mother fucker on the planet.


p.s.- and who knew benmont tench was such a bad ass?

p.p.s- the doc is also worth watching, if for nothing else, the recording of the song "keeping me alive", an outtake from 'hard promises' that is one of his best songs.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wire -another the letter/the 15th

great twofer from the mighty wire. i fucking loved wire the first time i heard them, which was when i borrowed mike's 'pink flag'. i loved them more when i heard 'chairs missing' an album so absolutely perfect that guitar bands should've stopped putting out albums after it. everything since has been an echo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Scott Walker - Loss Of Love (Theme from 'Sunflower')

get the feeling he hated every minute of this performance? great song, tho'...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Black Francis - Captain Pasty

from his new album 'bluefinger'. far and away the album of the year.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bruce Springsteen - My City of Ruins (WTC Benefit)

i remember crying like a baby when i saw this. it still gets me. it's like a hymn. and when the chorus stops and bruce is left singing alone, he seems like the last man alive.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

all i want's a pepsi


sometimes people ask me, "feeb, how are you?". i want to spit in these peoples faces. no one tells the truth, especially me! if you ever want to know how i'm doing just leaf through the stack of albums i have piled up on my stereo. they usually reflect my current mood. so to anwer your question, you nosy bastards, here's how i'm doing:


1. frank black-honeycomb

2. faust-faust IV

3. robert pollard-coast to coast carpet of love

4. leonard cohen-songs of leonard cohen

5. david bowie-low

6.bruce springsteen-tunnel of love

7. the pogues-red roses for me

8. christy moore-the box set 1964-2004

9. emitt rhodes-emitt rhodes

10. repo man soundtrack


there. now leave me alone.

Friday, November 2, 2007

rip

the best music is the late night, spontaneous music. this is beautiful. just some guy.
mike p. died two nights ago. tho' i haven't seen him in almost 9 years he was a friend and a good man. he would have appreciated this.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bruce Springsteen - Brilliant Disguise

halloween is a fucking childrens holiday. there is REAL terror in this song. you don't think so? put on your fucking mask and go back to the costume party. the grownups are talking.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Afghan Whigs - You my flower

"so what, you made me smile. i had smiled at lesser things before i ever thought of you."

nice.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Frank Black and Moris Tepper - I Burn Today (Henry Rollins)

i kinda feel the same way today.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Teenage Fanclub - The Concept

this is how i discovered teenage fanclub. 'bandwagonesque' is actually a real important album to me. i remember my own songwriting took a turn after hearing it. i saw you could be a cool rock band and still write songs that were catchy as fuck. power-pop will always be my fave music.
this is from snl. pre-nirvana. i still think it's really cool.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Can - Spoon (Live)

see? jam bands can be good!
but god damn are those germans serious.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

lesson #6: the music was never ending


lets get right to it.


1. john o'dreams-christy moore's version of a bill caddick song. i've recently been getting serious about irish music. this, to my untrained ear, is a perfect irish ballad. sad, wistful, gentle. the loose arrangement (this was a tape of a rehearsal, there is a discussion toward the end of the song) give it a' that's the way it goes' feel that i like. and the lyric...sigh... 'sleep is a river, flow on forever, and for your boatman, choose old john o'dreams. nice. and christy moore's voice is something i treasure.


2. do ya-elo. really, have you heard it lately. it's everything that's great about rock. it's got bravado, vulnerability, and it's catchy as fuck! i remember i saw matthew sweet close his set with this song. it was brilliant. then he laid the guitar on an amp, walked offstage, and let it feedback for what felt like 20 minutes. that was genius.


3. one step up-bruce springsteen off of his, arguably, best album 'tunnel of love'. remember when a song like this could be a semi-hit? true it has one of springsteens most memorable melodies, but the words are brutal. 'i'm the same old story, same old act..." "when i look at myself i don't see, the man i wanted to be, somewhere along the line i slipped off the track..." then there's the devastating closing line "last night i dreamed i held you in my arms, the music was never ending, we danced as the evening sky faded to black, one step up and two step back". another one of springsteens broken dreams.


4. vfw-dead milkmen from big lizard in my backyard. cuz' sometimes i like to feel like a pissed off young man. which is totally different from how i feel most of the time.


5.i burn today-frank black. do you guys know 'honeycomb'? great album. dan penner and spooner oldham are all over it. i kind of take frank for granted so i wanted to include him here. he's always good, and always interesting. and his voice moves me on a very basic level. even when he's not screaming. he's got a new album out that's supposed to be real good. i don't have it, but i just talked myself into it!


take it for what it is.

Monday, October 22, 2007

couldn't get things right

elliott doesn't look great in this clip. doesn't sound his best either. but this song is so sad and so perfect i had to post it. elliott smith died 4 years ago today.
he makes me feel better about feeling sad.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Left Banke

like i said, i love a good pop song. one of the great all time melodies.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Archers Of Loaf - Harnessed In Slums

i often think about how bands that were really great become just footnotes in the history of rock. but, you know, this is better than any beatles or zeppelin song. shame.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pete Townshend - Slit Skirts (live1986)

i remember when i used to think this was such a 'grown up' song. now i'm older than he was when he wrote it! still great, despite the horns...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

this is a drinking song

i chose this for a couple of reasons. first, because it's one of the finest love songs ever written. you know, right>
second, because i love the transformation of pollard from drunken fool into a perfect example of what's right about the world. one second he's talking about microbrews and the next...this.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

english beat-save it for later

damn, i love a good pop song.

Monday, October 15, 2007

if i'm not smiling, i'm just thinking


you have to love a song that begins "thank you kindly, for thinking of me" with a ragged 3 part harmony.

glad and sorry, happy or sad, when all is done and spoken, you're up or i'm down.

glad and sorry is the name of the song by the faces.

it strolls along, gently, good naturally, but not stupidly. it knows what it's doing and where it's going.

the piano part kinda sounds like something charlie brown and his gang would bop too.

ronnie lane wrote this. he's my current obsession.

i don't really know what to say. i came home from work and i played this song 5 times and all was clear. i'm listening to it as i type this. which is probably this makes no sense. fuck it. i'm gonna listen.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

well said pt.4


Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. ~Jean Paul Richter

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fleetwood Mac -

one for my sister in law, who loves this song. me too. the ending is intense. hard to watch.
the mac are ok. most of their stuff is ear candy (quality ear candy, i think) but this song is like punk. raw and direct.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Townes Van Zandt and Blaze Foley from Austin Pickers 1984

townes suffered from depression. it's all over his face in this performance. it's almost painful to watch. he barely opens his eyes, his voice quivers, near tears, the guitar gets sloppy. through this, he creates a moment of unbearable beauty. i almost wish it hadn't been taped. but his voice with blaze foleys' is perfection.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dee Dee Sharp-Goodnight My Love

i hum this song at least once a day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ronnie Lane. Ooh la la

i picked up a faces best of today and quickly learned that ronnie lane is the songwriter i've been looking for all my life.
really?
ronnie lane?

p.s. i know it cuts off a touch early but it's a great performance. isn't it?

Monday, October 8, 2007

townes van zandt-she came and she touched me


i had a series of bad dreams last night. i woke in a hateful mood.

i went for a walk in the park near me. my brain scanned and found this song.


She came and she touched me with hands made of heaven

reflections sent spinnin 'through a face laced in mist

Now I stand where she left me

buried deep 'neath her shadow

and the mirror plead sadly does it all come to this

and I wonder: Will she call my name?

The wind careens madly

through wide windows paneless

fragrancies mingle in a room full of shade

The peons pick partners

and waltz cross the ceilings

but the violins whisper that I've been betrayed

tryin not to look ashamed

The drunkards drink deeply

from cups full of nothingness

ghost lovers laugh at the games that they play

the moments do somersaults

into eternity

cling to their coattails and beg them to stay

saying I got nothing to hide

Illusions projected on walls made of Tiffany

mad menuets to a sad satin song

A harlequin mandolins

harmonize helplessly hoping that endlessly won't last for long

Praying that their God ain't dying

Then I turn and I see her

in a dress made of moonlight

teardrops like diamonds run slow down her face

her arms surround me

like chains made of velvet

and the demons fall faithfully into their place

and the rivers run with jewels

Now the morning lies open

the night went quite quickly

memory harmlessly fractures and fades

All the poets do push-ups on carpets of rubber foam

loudly they laugh at some joke that's been made

and the wise men speak like fools.


and i've felt better the rest of the day.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Richard Thompson - Shoot Out the Lights

i love a good breakup album, and "shoot out the lights" is one of the finest!
this song is harrowing. the solo is mind blowing. very un-thompson, noisy and angry. like his fingers are working against him, but he's still making a beautiful racket.
crazy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

They Might Be Giants - Lucky Ball and Chain

my fave tmbg song! no one makes you feel so good while making you feel so rotten. fellas after my own heart!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Clancy Brothers - The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

sometimes it's easy to forget we're at war.
a beautiful song. listen to it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

my mind comes apart reviewing "in the aeroplane over the sea"


i've been trying to write a piece on this album since i started this site...jesus christ i love you....it's difficult.

there are few albums like it. there is nothing like it. i heard it described as a "psychedelic" album once. i guess that's right. but in the best sense of the word. it's an album that takes you to another place, another reality...where every movement is pure grace...where every graceful moment is countered by brute force...when you were young you were the king of carrot flowers...what did you think of? i thought of myself in third grade instantly. i don't know why...

i've noticed that every song is in the same key. most of them use them same chords, just configured differently. these are the insights i have that others find useless. it's fascinating. did he do it on purpose? was it his master plan? how the notes all bend, unreachable...

sometimes his voice intertwines with a trumpet line and it's hard to tell what's what. his voice...i don't know how tape can hold it...can never see him sing live, my heart would break..how strange it is to be anything at all...

two headed boy. the album is populated with freaks. i hear it's a concept album based on anne frank but i only hear that in holland, 1945. oh my god. holland, 1945. the world looks better from the star that's right above from where you are. can i let you in on a secret? i can't listen to that line without crying. don't tell the cool kids. it kills me. can you imagine writing that? i've wanted to but never could. i'm so jealous. that's how i know i love an album. i find myself totally jealous of it's creator. they'll be placing fingers through the notches in your spine...

is it rock? it is, kind of. it's kind of like folk art. like music played by people who don't really know what they're doing. they're doing it to feel better. and that's why it's so beautiful.

when i was a kid there was a song they played in church that my grandmother really loves. this album makes me think of my grandmother and that song. i love my grandmother and that song and i miss them both.

what is it about a trumpet?

and can we take a minute to look at the cover? isn't it something?

there are ghosts. alive and well. reincarnated as little boys in spain. communist daughters. semen staining mountaintops. saws and feedback. acoustic guitars bursting microphones.

when i think of "psychedelic" it think of hippie bullshit. and delay pedals. there is none of that hear. here. some terrible scene that was doing her thing on your chest. oh comely. a song with a full orchestra. a man and his guitar. standing next to me. only my enemy. i'll crush him with everything i own.

robert schneider produced this. he's a genius. i think it's done on a 8-track. like sgt. pepper. except that this album stands the test of time. i can't compare it to anything. it's got familiar element...a guitar...bass...drums...keyboard...saw?....saw, like a violin. but i think it would all work acapella...da da da...the way the da lingers...will she remember me? 50 years later? know all your enemies. we know who are enemies are. ok, i'm starting to get the anne frank thing. than it's like an opera with voice and trumpet.

and saw.

and the ghost makes another appearance.

oh comely was a really long song, but it's like time travel.

vaudeville is an influence.

the distorted guitar is like an alarm clock. an alarm clock of wind chimes. it's all an album lenght...wait...she was born in a bottle rocket...what? 1929?

greatest drummer ever. strong and subtle. and god damn! that trumpet!

dee dee deee dee dee dee dee...a saw sounds a little like a ghost. or what i imagine a ghost sounds like. sometimes i don't believe in people, only ghosts..

10.

there are sounds i can't identify. a bagpipe run through a fuzzbox? a bigmuffpipe? but i think it's playing words. something about the folly of existence. about not putting to much meaning into anything you do. about...about... i lost it.

the two headed boy is back. world weary now. escaped from his jar and heartbroken. but don't hate her when she gets up to leave.

that's the only line you need to remember from this album.
god is a place where some holy spectacle lies.
that to.

Friday, September 28, 2007

by this river-brian eno

i got into brian eno a few years ago, when i was heavy into my "genius producer" phase. i expected to hear some strange, cold electronic stuff. what i found was some of the most beautiful, moving music i've ever heard. his voice is the real treasure. steady and sad.
this is from the album "before and after science". you should also buy "here come the warm jets", "taking tiger mountain by strategy", and "another green world". you'll thank me.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Keith Richards - Hickory Wind

great version of a gram parsons classic. yea, keef is a bit of a cliche now, but this reminded me of why i love the stones. you know, the pre-80's stones.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Pogues on German TV 1985 (Part 2)

i thought about a pair of brown eyes that waited once for me...

Streams of Whiskey - the Pogues (Old Grey Whistle Test)

when the world is too dark/and i need the light inside of me/i walk into a bar/and drink 15 pints of beer
that line is so good. a great mix of vulnerability and bravado. best drinking song of all time? any thoughts?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Paul Westerberg - Mr. Rabbit

for joseph.

Monday, September 24, 2007

6 months ago today was a shit day. this is for jimmy b. and family.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Elvis Costello- Couldn't Call It Unexpected

my favorite costello song. not the best sound quality but it'll do. if you don't know the words, look them up, print them and hang them on the fridge. a daily reminder of all this useless beauty.
"i can't believe, i'll never believe, in anything again".
mike, play this song at my funeral.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash

"girl from the north country".

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bruce Springsteen - Dream Baby Dream

this is springsteen doing a suicide song. an example of how patience with a song can be so rewarding. close your eyes and let it overtake you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mercury Rev Live Diamonds

a stunning song of love from mercury rev. i love this version because on album there is alot more singing. here, it's almost as if the music takes over and leaves no space for the words. as if the words would obscure the true meaning of the song. beautiful.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Joan Jett - Fake Friends

i just wanted to hear this today. one of the great melodies of all time. and joans vocal is fantastic. mike? remember what i said about women and rock? i may have been wrong.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lesson # 5: a unified theory of everything


i go through phases in my music listening. if you're a regular reader you can see that. sometimes i'm into the mellow stuff, sometimes the more cerebral. lately i've been into the basic, rootsier, more emotionally direct stuff. that's the way she goes.

1."what makes you think you're the one"-fleetwood mac. off of TUSK. i'm not a huge mac fan. i am, however, a lindsey buckingham fan. maybe it's 'cuz he's such a dick and doesn't mind sharing it with the world. i got this album for a buck the other day and have been listening to it non-stop. while i could always do without christine mcvies tripe, buckingham and nicks shine. this song was recorded at home and sounds like it. drums so loud they distort, buried vocals, muddied all around. and he's pissed. probly at stevie. he sounds like jeff mangum on this one, too.

2. "lonesome highway"-shanee macgowan and the popes. great song on the crock of gold album . in the tradition of "pair of brown eyes". a real tear jerker.
and if you know
don't let me go
if those words don't move you here, just listen to him sing it.

3. "laminated cat"- loose fur from their half successful first album. fall is here and this is a song for the season. "candy left over on halloween". why is that line so sad? it just is.

4. "$1000 wedding"-gram parsons. the perfect country song. tears, drinking, and the groom left at the altar. and when gram croaks out the last line, "there's supposed to be a funeral/it's been a bad, bad day", there's not a dry eye in the room. in my room at least. i go back and forth on parsons. sometimes i think he is as great as people say, and sometimes not so much. today i think he's as great as they say.

5. "she's a jar"- wilco off of summer teeth. i had a whole piece written about tweedy the other day and how i had a man crush on him, and how he has restored my faith in music. instead i'll just print a lyric from this song and let you decide.
are there really ones like these
the ones i dream
float like leaves
and freeze to spread skeleton wings
i passed through
before i knew you...

whew.
a unified theory of everything.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Elliott Smith - Needle In The Hay (Rock Version)

sorry, two in one day. i stumbled on this on youtube. staggering.

Matthew Sweet - Someone to pull the trigger

keeping with a theme. great opening line, "i'm loaded and ready". an unbelievable songwriter. "everything i'll ever be i've been". some people say it better than i ever could!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Elvis Costello - Shot With His Own Gun

"playing house seems so melancholy".
yeah.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

well said pt.3


"The world is filled with people who are no longer needed-And who try to make slaves of all of us- And they have their music and we have ours-Theirs, the wasted songs of a superstitious nightmare-And without their musical and ideological miscarriages to compare our songs of freedom to, we'd not have any opposite to compare music with-And like the drifting wind, hitting against no obstacle, we'd never know it's speed, it's power." -Woody Guthrie

Friday, September 14, 2007

nirvana _ sliver

i know it's easy to dismiss nirvana now but they were a great band. and he was a great singer and songwriter. this song is impossibly lovely. "grandma take me home" is the best chorus of all time. it emcompasses so much. and that scream he ends "woke up in my arms" with is heart wrenching, free of the butch vig/andy wallace double tracked sheen that stripped "nevermind" of some of it's emotion. great stuff.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

why i love the electric guitar pt.3

it's true. and maybe it's no.1. i remember watching this scene and thinking "oh my god! that is so cool!". the nervous chump transformed into hero. art defeating sports. that's an important lesson. i remember also being really affected by the way he loses himself in the solo and completely tunes out the audience. the music is king.
i don't know if the filmmakers intended me to get these things out of that scene, but i did. and i'm grateful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wilco - How To Fight Loneliness

i've been reading a book about tweedy lately. complex guy. probably not the easiest guy to work with. but his love and belief in music is inspiring.
and jay bennett is great, no matter how much shit is talked about him.
i like the mood of this song, and i really like the performance in the round.
just smile all the time!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See A Darkness, Cph 2007-03-23

unbelievable. unbearable. this is my song for 2007, a year i hope i never see the likes of again.

Monday, September 10, 2007

well said pt.2


One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain- Bob Marley

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Leonard Cohen-God Could've Used Him


i want to make a formal apology. for years i thought leonard cohen was an overrated hack. i was wrong.

it's been a hectic weekend. i went out last night. i don't do that much. i barely slept. i feel ragged and worn and dingy.

i came back to the apartment and napped on the couch. i took a shower. i couldn't clear the fog.

i put on "recent songs" by leonard cohen. i shaved. i laid down again. i let the low, monotonous voice of leonard cohen wash over me. he sounds like a string instrument, like a cello.

he writes the greatest prayers. god could've used him.

i told my mother, mother i must leave you

preserve my room, but do not shed a tear

should rumors of a shabby ending reach you

it was half my fault and half the atmosphere.


that's not bad for a pop song.

MC5 The American Ruse

check out who follows the 5!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Heatmiser - Plainclothes man

my first exposure to elliott smith. happened to catch it on 120 minutes. as much as i loathe mtv it actually turned me on to alot of good music in the late '80's early '90's. whigs, nirvana, janes'addiction,etc.
always really liked this song. on the surface about an undercover cop, it's alot less "miami vice" than the subject matter suggests.
he was a fantastic songwriter. great guitar player. "i remember why i dream in black and white". what a great line!
his is a sad story.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Paul Westerberg

Paul Westerberg - If Only You Were Lonely

yeah, i know i've been heavy with the westerberg lately. hope you don't mind, mike!
this song is so great. theres loneliness and alonesness to paraphrase townes van zandt. this is about lonelisness. the humor in this song makes it so much sadder. singer/songwriters should study this song. it sounds like a simple barroom jingle but it's so layered. "another day is here, oh well" "somewhere there's a smile with my name on it.
i'm gonna keep shoving westerberg on you bastards til you realize he IS the greatest american songwriter. he's the musical bukowski.
fuck it. somewhere there's a drink with MY name on it. cheers!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

why i love the electric guitar pt.2

the stray cats were the first band i was ever obsessed with. i thought everything about them was cool. their look, their sound, their attitude. i bought all their singles and imports. they started me on my way to becoming a rock nerd.
but that guitar. i still haven't heard anything that sounds like it. so full and twangy. so cool and laid back. a tiny guy with a big guitar. and it holds up better than anything recorded in the 80's.

p.s. i used to work with a guy who worked in a deli in massapequa. he said setzer used to shop there when he was a teenager and he dressed the same way. they used to make fun of him. that made me more of a fan.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

everything is the worst


music millenium on 23rd closed on august 31st. this probably doesn't mean much to you, and that particular store closing doesn't affect my life all that much. it was a good record store though. big and well stocked. a place where you could lose yourself for a few hours. i saw lou barlow play there. i missed paul westerberg playing there. what're you gonna do?


what bothers me is the slow death of record stores. i could go into a whole spiel about how downloading music is awful, and how all you motherfuckers with ipods are missing one of the vital aspects of the music buying experience, but, shit, i've downloaded a few things in my day. of course, if i really liked it i would buy it anyway so i could have the book. but c'mon ipoders, do you really get a thrill scrolling through lists trying to find that song you heard on the radio? y'know, the one you don't really know the name of but it's got an acoustic guitar and sung by some californian faking an english accent? don't you miss the record racks? the thousands of skinny cardboared sleeves that you have to physically dig through to find that gem? that one?


but people are stupid. they'd rather go to happy hours with co-workers. or go to work. or go to a ballgame. or mow the lawn. or lay down on the fucking couch and watch law and order. or go to their fucking computer and download their shitty music onto there shitty computer and listen to it on shitty speakers while they do their online banking.


i'm old. i know. but i want to hold my records. album art (remember that) is important. it's beautiful. "in the court of the crimson king"? that's my favorite painting!

it's important to know who produced the album you're listening to. phil spector produced the one i'm listening to.

it's important to know who engineered the album you're listening to. ed stasium engineered the one i'm listening to.

you should know who played bass in your favorite band. or if they have a piano player or if it's a guest musician.

good music is important. every part of it. i wish liner notes included who cleaned the toilets in the studio. i would like to know.


so go buy a fucking record. music is physical. otherwise it's just a ghost.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Baba O'Riley

this song, and this video, changed my life. pete townsend, along with brian setzer and michael j. fox (i'll explain later) made me fall in love with rock and the guitar.
people talk about the freedom of music and for the most part it's bullshit. but look at townsend while daltrey is singing. doesn't he look like he's in heaven? all macho swagger and fuck off attitude. so cool. and he's such a geek! which is, of course, why he's so cool.

god, just watched it again. if i can keep this song, and these pictures, in my head forever, i'll be ok. thank you for being my friend, pete.
and roger daltrey is robert pollards wettest dream.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Paul Westerberg - Lush and Green

i'm feeling pretty shitty today. so listen to this.
"i drink up with these flowers and trees/above you all is lush and green"
"i only sleep when spoken to"
get it?got it?good.

Everly Brothers - All I have to do is dream + Cathy's Clown

people wrote better songs in the '60's. two guys, two guitars, two voices. everything that's good about pop music is in these two songs. there's an honesty and beauty in these songs (and this performance) that's missing from todays music. even the good stuff.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Replacements Live 1-18-86

see? and bob stinson knew how to end a song.

Paul Westerberg - It's a Wonderful Lie

i love westerberg because, as a teenage loser, i felt like he was writing songs for me.
now, as a middle aged loser, i still feel he's writing them for me.

Friday, August 31, 2007

RIP Hilly Kristal

Talking Heads - Live in Rome 1980 - 10 Born Under Punches

don't you miss it? don't you miss it? some of you people just about missed it.
i wish i could've been one of the people on this stage.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

the rainbow connection

i see pil was too much for you pussies to handle. this song prepared me for 'here comes a regular'. the saddest song ever written. and lucy, the second verse is the killer, not the third.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

PIL-MEMORIES

this person, too, has had enough of useless memories. sex pistols were great. pil were genius. at least for a short while. and john lydon was much cooler than johnny rotten. and they're both cooler than you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Do You Realize?? (David Letterman)

i love this song, and i love this performance. wayne coyne looks like i want to feel for the rest of my life.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Lesson #4: Is any song worth singing if it doesn't help?


i'm tired, boys. i'm weary. yer old pal needs a boost. anyone?


1.wishful thinking-wilco. on a ghost is born (great title). the title of this piece came from this song. but mostly i love this song 'cuz of this:

open your arms as far as they'll go

take off your dress

an embarrassing poem was written when i was alone

in love with you.

i read an interview with tweedy where he said on his new album he wanted to write nice, peaceful songs because he had never written an album that didn't make his wife worry. that's nice. i wish ida thought of that.


2. Tower Song-townes van zandt. and if you don't know the song or if you don't know the artist there is something lacking in your life. just so beautiful it takes your breath away. then it gives it back. a little shallower.


3. Parting of the Sensory- Modest Mouse off of the great "we were dead before the ship even sank". far and away the album of the year. and this is the best song on the album. "Aw fuck it i guess we lost". isaac brocks voice is a thing of beauty. all raw and wild, like a pit bull on a rope leash. one of those guys i have a tough time listening to because he makes me think i may be right about the world. god, i hope i'm not.


4. Goodnight My Love-alex chilton. i love when someone knows how to close an album. the sweetest goodnight i've ever heard. i've always thought of chilton as a less naive johnathan richman. where johnathan really likes people, alex really wants to. i think of my nephews when i hear this song.


5. A Pair of Brown Eyes-the pogues. god damn! can words express how great this song is? no, they can't.


i don't know. listen to the songs, really. as i get older it becomes clearer that music is the only beautiful thing man is capable of. fuck it. i'm tired. i'm weary. i going to sleep. just ...one...more...song....

Nina Simone - When I Was In My Prime - 1961

can you imagine being in the same room as this song was being played? how does the guitar player hold on to his guitar? imagine a world where people actually have the patience and fortitude to sit through a performance like that.
so. how'd YOU like it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Roky Erickson - the right track (powell st. john)

i was reminded today of how petty and ugly and small people are.
i posted this to prove to myself that that's not entirely true.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Walker Brothers - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore

i've recently declared this the best song of the 60's, if not of all time. so dramatic. and scott walker is so fucking cool. i loved this song long before i knew who scott walker was. i remember hearing it in the car with my mom, who also really digs this song. she's a hip lady.
just great songwriting. when the chorus comes out of the bridge my heart always skips a beat. how come spector never produced these guys?
p.s. the opening lines are:
loneliness is a cloak you wear, a deep shade of blue is always there.
shit.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm gonna turn on you, before you turn on me

that'll be how i sign off on all my xmas cards this year. great song. i remember vividly the 1st time i saw this video. scared the shit out of me. i bought it the next day. could be the best band of the 90's. definitely the best singer. listen to the way he phrases "oh my love, we can still be friends". so good. talk about shitting in yer mouth and calling it a sundae! god bless gregg dulli! he taught me everything i know about women!

Modest Mouse - Satin in a coffin (live at Letterman)

a fearless band at their peak. enjoy them now. i love that they picked this song for a network gig. isaac brock is the best rock singer since dulli. intense with almost no control of his voice, like it's a sickness he's spitting out. "are you dead or are you sleeping? god, i sure hope you are dead!". that line instantly makes me think of at least 3 people. hint: one of them is me!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Dawn Don't Rescue Me No More

if you could feel music the way danko feels this one you'd do heroin too. this is a performance that has haunted me for years. his voice sounds like it's about to crack in half. listen to when he sings the lines "i love you so much, it's all i can do, just to keep myself from telling you, that i never felt so alone before". i swear there's blood in his throat. rick danko is in heaven now. high as fuck.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

guilt, revenge, and the sleep of the just


elvis costello once said, earlier in his career, that all of his songs were about guilt and revenge. and really, isn't that why we all love him? guilt is the hole in our sinking ship and revenge is the bucket we uselessly try to save ourselves with. or something like that.

then there's "sleep of the just" off of king of america. one of the saddest songs ever. a song that has elements of guilt and revenge, but is, ultimately, about forgiveness and a bitter acceptance.


king of america always felt like and old timey record to me. it has a soft, country feel to it. songs about lost people fill the album. immigration seems to be a minor theme of the album. but more like emotional immigration (if i may invent a psycho-babble term). people thrust into a situation they're not prepared for. surrounded by strangers and longing for home. it's a complex album and when i got it when i was 13 i had no idea what it was about. now i know a little better.


"sleep of the just" is a gorgeous song. it is, to my ears, costello's most affecting vocal. the lyrics seem so strange. soldiers and poets and homesickness....

well it was a powerful day, and there were black crows in the road...

ever have one of those days? where things seem too much, like every inch of you is a raw nerve? the black crows in the road line always bothered me. why are they in the road? why aren't they flying away?

and i kept my strong opinions to chest...and that never ends well

i suppose i should have told them that i was on fire for you/as the bus burst into flames outside some place, "the poets rest"....when what you have inside affects everything. the whole scene is strange. who are "them"? a rock band? missionaries? what is "the poets rest"? a bar? an oasis? it'ss all so dream like.


and now you say, that you've got to go

well if you must you must

i suppose that you

need the sleep of the just


is he talking to someone on their deathbed? a lover leaving? the way he sings it says it all. and you really have to hear it to know. i can't describe it.

and then "just" trails off and we're left with a gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar. and then the "whap" of brushes on a snare drum. and some beautifully doctored piano.

and then it feels like we've all been forgiven.