Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dave Davies - Death Of A Clown

i posted this for lucy. she and i both have a crush on dave davies.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Jeff Tweedy Hissy Fit

this (along with lack of talent) is why i could never be a proffesional musician. i would do this every night. nothing is funnier than when a performer dresses down his audience. love the band, hate the fans.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

and the sky will throw thunderbolts and sparks straight at you

the man knows how to turn a phrase. a band that knows how to play and how to look. best love (sic) song ever written.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jonathan Richman - Now Is Better Than Before

the world is a better place because he's in it.

Jonathan Richman

he makes the world a better place. this is my long distance dedication.

Friday, July 27, 2007

antony and the johnsons

i saw lou reed at roseland here in portland a few years ago. antony was singing backup. the version they did of candy says that night blew this one away, but this is still pretty moving. again, not for everyone, but once you get into antony and the johnsons you will be rewarded. i always think he sounds a lot like nina simone. and i like the look on his face as the song ends.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Brother

god damn this is a good song.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Mars Volta

i'm not really a prog fan. i can't speak about it with any expertise, but it's always seemed like bland, pretentious, busy, bullshit. it doesn't speak to me. too clinical, too sterile. like i say, i can't speak about prog really cuz i'm not all that familiar with it. i mean, i like rush, but, you know...

the mars volta is prog. prog rock, for real. no getting around it. but something about them hits the right spot with me. i think i've put my finger on what it is. where most of the prog bands i've heard (Yes, King Crimson) seem overly technical and lacking emotion, the mars volta seem like a free for all. i mean, it's obviously very meticulous music. i'm sure every note, every beat is well planned and rehearsed a million times. but there's an element of abandon in their music. during some of the instrumental parts you can get lost. i was listening to "amputechture" the other day with headphones. i remember putting it on. i remember wrapping the headphones around my ears. and i remember it ending. the bulk of it was a dream.

not that it's music you can ignore, or forgettable music. it just takes you somewhere. there's a sense of freedom that i envy. as you may know, i am an amateur musician and i've always regretted not mastering any instrument. you can feel that joy that comes with being able to express any emotion, rage, serenity, paranoia, etc. in every note that omar rodriguez-lopez plays. despite the intensity of their music i find it strangely soothing, like i find really authentic punk soothing. it's the release. the peace of a cleared mind.

so, yeah, they're not for everyone. but if you want your mind stroked, give 'em a try. viva mars volta!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jesus as Mark E Smith

mark e. smith is, hands down, the coolest man ever. do yourself a favor: buy the fall bbc sessions, set yourself down and listen to it. the whole thing. all six discs. without getting up. piss yourself if necessary, it'll enhance the experience. then, call up someone you've always wanted to tell off and call them a fucking twat.
then you will be..a fall fan.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Joey Ramone - Danny Says (2000 - Live)

in case you don't know the song. push comes to shove joey may be my favorite singer. i know everyone says this but the ramones meant alot to me. i remember jim g. had a denim jacket with the road to ruin cover painted on the back. i thought that was so cool. i bought all the ramones albums i have on vinyl at the mall. it's a shame kids can't do that anymore. rock is dead. long live rock.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm not here

this is one of my favorites. hard to believe pink floyd were actually interesting once. c'mon, what would you rather hear? this or fucking "comfortably numb"?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Twilight Singers - Bonnie Brae

ok, get your "fat gregg dulli" jokes out of the way. he's still one of the few old timers writing stuff as good as ever. i fucking love gregg dulli.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Danny Says

ever been lost? maybe you've had a few drinks and they hit you the wrong way and you just want to go home. but there's not a home to go to, just some place you stay. empty and afraid and melancholy. and lost.

that's what tom waits version of "danny says" sounds like. it's a ramones tune, if you didn't know. one of my favorites. one of those songs where you can't directly indentify with it but you can feel it. it's that kind of song.

but waits take on it is heartbreaking. slow, sloppy, like a late night/early morning afterthought. the first thing you hear is the room. big, empty, hissy. then an echoey guitar and a fat upright bass. then that voice. a croak..."danny says we gotta go, gotta go to idaho, but we can't go surfing cuz it's 20 below". what does that mean? i don't know. but i do. "hanging out in 100B, watching Get Smart on tv, thinking about you and me, and you and me".

sometimes i think there's something wrong with me. i feel like every song is written for me. like advice from an older brother.

but there's nothing wrong with that.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lou Barlow- Ballad of Daykitty

see kids, it's not always about heartache and anger! tho' i'm loathe to admit it i have become a cat person. don't tell anyone tho'. i'll lose my street cred. great song.
hi gibson! daddy loves you!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

well said

Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Westerberg High

I was in high school when i discovered the replacements. funny story. i actually picked up "Pleased To Meet Me" because i saw an interview with bobcat who described the cover (two hands shaking, one arm wearing a suit, the other a torn shirt) and was intrigued. i was a big bobcat fan. still am.

anyway, i bought the album. i remember it didn't make that big of an impression on me. so it lay with hundereds of other of albums.

then one day i was getting a ride home from victor and keith, two mooks i knew who drove. they liked shit dance music, but were also into rap, which at the time was ok. but mostly lisa lisa type shit. they used to bring me vodka and i would sit in the back and get loaded and have my ears blown out by rattling speakers.

so, one day, they were playing something, a tape, possibly rob base, over and over. victor went to flip the tape and the radio went on. it must have been WLIR or something. and i heard the opening riff of "can't hardly wait". victor went to slide the tape in. "hold it, hold it!" i slurred. i hardly ever made music requests (oddly enough) so i guess they decided to humor me.

it was glorious.

do you know the song? have you heard it? it's perfect! "write you a letter tomorrow/tonight i can't hold a pen". it was what i needed. "hurry up! hurry up! ain't you had enough of this stuff!". you've heard this story before, i know. but he WAS speaking to me. that voice! so strained, struggling to get out every word. "i'll be home when i'm sleeping/i can hardly wait". jesus, i almost cried. i felt so comforted. like i'd made a friend. a new best friend.

so, i went home, listened, REALLY listened to the album and fell in love with it. went out and bought their whole back catalogue. i remember after getting "stink" i played "garys got a boner" for victor and keith. they were none too amused. and that's when i learned to love torturing people with my music choices.

so, i guess i owe a lot to victor and keith. if they had chosen the jellybean benitez remix of "it takes two" that day i may have missed my moment. and the replacements would just be another band. and i wouldn't have paul westerberg as a best friend.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gloomy Sunday: Lesson #2

i've never been a sunday fan. probably goes back to my school days and my dread of returning to that dark, bleak place. and really not much has changed. i'm off today and i wish i weren't. so i'll console myself (and bring you down) with another 5 songs you should download.

i don't care how catchy they may be, these songs are bleak, through and through. and that makes me feel so much better!

1. "Jackson Cage"-Bruce Springsteen from The River. The older i get the scarier this album becomes. Financial devastation, lost love, the death of dreams, this album has it all. and it rocks! "and it don't matter just what you say/are you tough enough to play the game they play/or will you just do your time and fade away/down into the jackson cage". The idea of fading away hangs heavy over the album. and lately i feel like i can see through my hands.

2. "End of Miles"- off of Frank Blacks' Black Letter Days. another album of loss and flight. there's alot of songs about heading west on this album. i've always had a bit of wanderlust (with just enough fear to keep me in place) so the idea appeals to me. "i'm lost and i am lonesome to the core". always strange and disturbing when someone who usually writes more abstract lyrics says something right on the mark like that.

3."Suicide is Painless"-by Royal Trux from some soundcheck or something. a real dark reading of the song. i mean, even more so. a girl at work made me aa mixed cd with this song on it. what was she trying to tell me?

4. "Game of Pricks"- by GBV from Alien Lanes. i'll be humming this song to my grave! "I've entered the game of pricks with knives in the back of me/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/and when you come calling me down i'll put on my disease". that's gorgeous.

5. "Nothin'"- by Townes Van Zandt from Delta Momma Blues. there's a scene in the townes documentary "be there to love me" when a reporter asks him why so many of his songs are sad. townes looks at him with the most despairing look i've ever seen on a human and asks, rhetorically really, "you don't think life's sad?" the last line of this song, and of the album, is: "sorrow and solitude/these are the precious things/and the only words worth remembering".

so, uh, those are my picks. have fun with them! and remember, as ray davies said : "it's only jukebox music"!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Silver Jews - Random Rules

happy birthday, jen.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Christy Moore and Shane McGowan - Dirty Old Town

yea, it's easy to write him off as a drunk, but have you ever written anything close to "fairytale of new york". look at his eyes while he's singing than tell me who's fucked up, you or him. sorry, don't mean to come off antagonistic, but, fuck, aren't you sick and fucking tired of mediocrity being rewarded in every aspect of life. hey, mike, brian? you know how you sometimes think you're better than everyone else? you're right. this clip proves it. cheers.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Townes Van Zandt in Heartworn Highway

another one of those clips where there's really nothing i can add. what strikes me is how casual the performance starts, with a bit of chatter and giggling. then it hits like a trash bag full of dead soldiers.
i don't know why all these tragic, self-destructive, songwriters fascinate me so. aw, sher i do, ma...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Miss Misery, Ellott Smith (in Oscar)

this performance has stuck in my head since i saw it. the audience seems uninterested. cuz, you know, it's the oscar. and people are there to honor trite bullshit.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kathy, i'm lost

know what's a great song? "america" by simon and garfunkel. i'm a fan of the duo, i admit. the ponderous, self important, depressing lyrics. the sweet harmonies, everly-esque. sweet but bitter.

but "america" has always been my favorite song. not sure why. i've always had a fantasy about traveling the country ( a by-product of kerouac at 14 i guess, like millions of others) but i've never been nervy enough to hitchike. this country had always been fascinating to me. i always loved road trips, even as a kid. some day dream of europe, but i could give a fuck. a truck stop seems infinitely more interesting to me than paris, or madrid, or london, or fuck all what else. those machines that turn pennies into souveniers, key chains, cheap sunglasses, t-shirts, etc.. this is a great country for so many reasons. so much potential...

but, anyway, the song. the soaring harmonies, whispered vocals, gentle guitar, soft, sad, outro keyboars...so much about it is right. it's always moved me on a very basic level. garfunkels vocalizing at the end in particular.

but there's a point in the song that always brings me to tears. seriously, to tears. every time. it's the line: "kathy, i'm lost". it's so personal, but i know what he's talking about. so do you. who hasn't looked at their love and wondered "what am i doing", "where am i going"...that feeling..."i'm empty and aching and i don't know why"...it's so american... it's perfect. it speaks to every dashed dream...every failure...every hungover morning....every waking....

but what the fuck? what do i know? like i say, that line is so personal. it obviously meant something very specific to paul simon. and it means something very specific to me. good night. i'm not gonna proofread this. i'll regret that.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Guided By Voices - Teenage FBI

pollard is the real fucking deal. the line, "when you clean out the hive does it make you want a cry?/are you still being followed by the teenage f.b.i.?" always puts a lump in my throat. yes, bob, i am.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

"you still love rock and roll"
-jeff tweedy

i've been real into live music lately. something about a group of guys onstage just making some kind of racket seems important to me. not important like, "my kids are important", or "my girlfriend is important", but REALLY important. like holy grail type of shit.
or maybe i'm going hippy. the community of music...sum is greater than the parts...
but really creating something is the only thing that matters. living is just something you should do in order to create. cuz everything else is fleeting. momentary. trite. un. unimportant.

there's a moment on wilco's "kicking television" that i think is important. the album is recorded in the bands hometown of chicago. the moment is something you've heard a million times from skynard to ashley simpson shows. it's the crowd sing along. during "misunderstood", the opening song, mind you, jeff tweedy sings the lines: "you're short on long term goals/there's a party there that we oughta go to/you still love rock and roll/you still love rock and roll". the crowd isn't singing along into the "you still love rock and roll" line hits. it seems spontaneous. heartfelt. it's like good improvisation. the obligatory cheer follows but it sounds desperate, pleading. like rock is all there is that's left to love. like it's the only thing important in life.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Scott Walker - 30th Century Man (trailer)

someone asked me once why i liked scott walker. i'm not sure if i do. i know i'm fascinated by him and am engrossed by his records. i can't get my head around how he creates what he does. this trailer is a very small insight into his creative process. i couldn't find a video release date for the film but keep an eye out for it. he is a serious artist in an era of style over substance. everything is pop compared to him

Friday, July 6, 2007

Wilco - Impossible Germany

this is an example of where your patience will be rewarded. a stunning song. you know how when you get water in your ears and then there's that warm pop and relief of pressure? that's what my brain feels like when the double guitar lead comes in at the end. and nels cline is the most elegant lead guitarist since richard thompson. and stick around for the tweedy mini-interview at the end.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

look up

today, the song that's moving me is "look up" by chris bell. it's about jesus. i think he found god before he died. i'm not sure. i could do some fact checking but i'm sure i'd like the story in my head better.

it's just a beautiful, peaceful, sad song. "i'm thinking it could be a great day". it sounds like he REALLY wants that to be true. me too, my friend, me too.

anyway, i felt like i needed saving today and this song did it. it's not jesus, sure, but it'll do.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

4th of July Asbury Park

i was gonna just be lazy and print the lyrics to bruce springsteens' "4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy) to celebrate this glorious day but when i cut and paste the lyrics it came out in prose form. i read it and it seemed like a kerouac piece. i've always thought sprinsteen was a little like ray davies. both seem to depict their homeland more as the way they wish it could be. romantic and moral and violent and poetic. where each act possesses a kind of 'holiness', to paraphrase j.k. "latin lovers along the shore" "the aurora is rising behind us" and, to me, the songs key line, 'running down the beach at night with my boss's daughter well he aint my boss no more' just sound so free and grand. it's sounds like a place i'd like to visit.

so anyway, i'm babbling. read this. really read it. it's good writing. long live america.

Sandy the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonightForcin' a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of JulyDown in town the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast so shiny so sharpAnd the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past darkAnd the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers along the shoreChasin' all them silly New York girlsSandy the aurora is risin' behind usThe pier lights our carnival life foreverLove me tonight for I may never see you againHey Sandy girlNow the greasers they tramp the streets or get busted for trying to sleep on the beach all nightThem ruin their spiked high heels ah Sandy their skins are so whiteAnd me I just got tired of hangin' in them dusty arcades bangin' them pleasure machinesChasin' the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they promise to unsnap their jeansAnd you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach dragI got on it last night and my shirt got caughtAnd that Joey kept me spinnin' I didn't think I'd ever get offOh Sandy the aurora is risin' behind usThe pier lights our carnival life on the waterRunnin' down the beach at night with my boss's daughterWell he ain't my boss no more SandySandy, the angels have lost our desire for usI spoke to 'em just last night and they said they won't set themselves on fire for us anymoreEvery summer when the weather gets hot they ride that road down from heaven on their Harleys they come and they goAnd you can see 'em dressed like stars in all the cheap little seashore bars parked making love with their babies out on the KokomoWell the cops finally busted Madame Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they doThis boardwalk life for me is throughYou know you ought to quit this scene tooSandy the aurora's rising behind us, the pier lights our carnival life foreverOh love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Dinosaur Jr --Henry Rollins Show

keeping with a theme. on repeated listens i think this is better than the original.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Daniel Johnston on The Henry Rollins Show

daniel on the rollins show. so fucking great. if you find this amusing for some reason,you're an asshole and you're not welcome here anymore.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

lesson #1

quickly now, i'm running out of time. this blog is about music. only music. and better yet, MY opinions about music. which, if you don't know by now, are more valid than your opinion. trust me. what are you listening to? that's bullshit. try this. once a week i'll give a list of 5 songs you should be aware of. download them if you must. consider this a lesson. and be patient kids. good things come to those who wait!

1. jay bennett- "phone book" from the magnificent defeat. jay bennett is the guy everyone thought was a dick after watching "i am trying to break your heart". in hindsight i see him as a musical genius unable to express what he's trying to do to a bunch of guys who have had it with his (granted, annoying) mania. this album, and this song, proves me right. it sounds like a "trust"-era costello outtake. a song that costello thought to himself " i can't say that about my wife!". but bennett does. and he sounds bitter and jealous and sad and desperate and it's sincere and chaotic and fucking gorgeous. jay bennett is not a joke. check him out.

2. bill fay- "be not so fearful" off of his eponymous debut. it's how i'd like to live my life. but fall way short. but this song makes me try again.

3. elliott smith - "high time" from the new moon collection. a standout song on an album of standouts. people harp on how depressing he is, but i find his music comforting. empathy, kids, is an underated human trait. also this song contains the line "i'm so sick and tired of trying to change your mind when it's so easy to disconnect mine". which i find absolutely terrifying. c'mon, you know what he's talking about.

4. chris bell- "i am the cosmos". possibly the greatest power pop song ever from another undervalued 2nd fiddle. really sad and lovely.

5. dinosaur jr.- "almost ready" the lead song from their new album "beyond" good album, too, tho' it does suffer from the "what's the frequency kenneth" syndrome 'cuz this song rocks so fucking hard.

so that's this weeks lesson. take your time. listen to music, whatever music you want. but just be still and follow the sound.