Saturday, August 30, 2008

afghan whigs-if i only had a heart

sinister. the tin man is rusting in his grave!
i've decided to live my single life like gregg dulli. maybe minus the coke.

Friday, August 29, 2008

tim buckley-song to the siren

jeff's dad.
what a song. what a performance.
'did i dream you dreamed about me'.

that line kills me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

the kinks-jukebox music

i am insightful enough to know that the woman the davies bros. are singing about could be me. 'she lets the music dictate the way that she feels'.
it's true. my favorite thing to do is sit and listen to music. and when i'm not i'm thinking about it. i mean, jesus, look at this pathetic blog! this is my mid-life crisis! most guys buy a convertible, get a young girlfriend, go to clubs, hang around and clumsily grabbed for whatever may make them feel young for a moment. i never wanted to be young. a wise(er) man once said 'being old is a drill, being a kid is a bore'.
my mid-life crisis is trying to find a wire song that describes my alienation, or a minutemen song that expresses my frustration with work, or a daniel johnston song that echoes my failings with unattainable women.
but it's only there to dance to, really.
i love it so....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

tim hardin-black sheep boy

why is this song so great? i don't know. it just is. try and find a bad version of it. you can't. i like scott walkers best.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

barenaked ladies-the old apartment

i work down the block from the apartment me and lucy lived when we first moved here. it wasn't a great place but i remember being really happy there. now, it's kinda up there on top of the hill, like a finger pointing at me every morning as i shuffle my weary body through works parking lot.
i gotta get a new job.

Monday, August 25, 2008

a song for a friend

'mama, you been on my mind' - bob dylan
my all time favorite dylan song. the words describe the kind of man i want to be. i'm not, but i'm trying.
there are a few versions of this, but this is my fave. his voice totally betrays the lyric. or maybe i'm just putting my own shit on it. i do that.
and, the line 'i'm just whispering to myself so i can't pretend that i don't know' may be the prettiest, saddest line i've ever heard.

or maybe it's the weather, or something like that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

pere ubu-breath

pere ubu are better than whatever you may be listening to. and if you don't get why dave thomas is so great then, well, to quote lou reed, 'you're not the kind of person that i even want to meet'.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

johnny cash-i see a darkness

i once had a theory that all the best music was unheard. that when music was pure it was unrecordable. that the worlds most beautiful songs just evaporated into the ether.
this is johnny cash doing a version of will oldham's 'i see a darkness'. so stark. cash at the end of his life, barely croaking out the song. the ghost of june carter cash haunts every word. when will oldham joins him on the chorus it's almost too much to bear.
i've got tons of other bullshit theories.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

antony and the johnsons-hope there's someone

a beautiful song about the fear of living, and dying, alone. which, considering my age, health, and lifestyle, is a real concern!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

robert pollard-robert pollard is off to business

"Loneliness I hardly ever feel during the day. At night sometimes after a gig I feel it a bunch. But loneliness, anyway is a state of feeling, whereas aloneness is a state of being -- like the difference between bein' broke and bein' poor." -townes van zandt

i wasn't a lonely kid. i had friends. i played little league. i played in a band. but i was never really comfortable doing any of it. i remember always feeling guilty having a good time. or nervous. like something bad was gonna happen. 'never relaxed', as daniel would say.
i felt disconnected. far away, or felt too much, hands on a hot stove . some things haven't changed.
high school, was, y'know, high school. i was a ghost. voted 'quietest'! seriously, it's in the year book.
i actually don't remember much of high school. the drinking was part of it, sure. but something else...i may have had some kind of learning disability....i couldn't pay attention. my eyes were closed, usually, silently humming...decorating my binder with band names. the replacements, jane's addiction, elvis costello, the cult...i remember some douche looking at my doodlings and saying 'you listen to that fag music?'. if i'd have had a gun i would have shot that motherfucker down. to paraphrase nick cave.
so i'd get home after a day of, basically, holding my breath. my room was in the basement. paneled. i had a black light zeppelin poster. true.
and i would fucking crank the music. so fucking loud. i had a great stereo.
i was, and am, an incredible air guitarist. i jumped and windmilled. i jump and windmill. i sang along, my hands twirling an imaginary microphone. my two faves to mime to were 'ocean size' by jane's, and 'baba o'riley' by the who. everything would fade. it was like a psychotic break. the paneling would turn into an audience. i could hear, really hear, the roar of the crowd. diane c., the girl i was in love with, who i never, ever said one single word to, gazed up at me, eyes filled with a lust that i've never seen in a real woman's eyes.
(i smile when i listen to music. it's true. you should watch me sometime.)
and for a while, the world, the real, imaginary world, knew what i knew. that i was special. that i was different. that i was something. that i wasn't alone.

that's how i feel when i listen to pollards new one. check it out.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

fun fun fun

we had fun, fun, fun 'til avis took the sebring away.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


yeah, three posts in one day! what's up? who knows? this is what power pop should be. perfect. i'm in love with this man. and check out the 2, count 'em 2, following posts. they're important. at least to me....

all of the good ones are taken

1st: watch the post below. it's a two for one!
this is the song i wanted to post tonight. fuck you, youtube. i had a thing. it goes like this:
i'm a bitter man. it's true. you folks know that. life is hopeless, blah, blah, blah. but, as some, you observant, of you readers know, i'm a hopeless romantic.
i still believe that someday, somewhere, i'll meet that girl.
and she'll be smart.
and funny.
and beautiful.
and like movies.
and love music.
i really DO believe i'll meet her.
i will.

and then i'll meet her boyfriend.

watch this:

my hero-the best thing that never happened

psssst. here's a secret. i stole my whole act from this guy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

echo and the bunnymen-killing moon

listening to this is what being haunted must feel like.

Monday, August 11, 2008

the hold steady

this clip showcases everything that's great about rock. and everything that's great about a rock band. c'mon! don't it look like fun!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

neil diamond-solitary man

awright. i'm getting tired of writing. and i still can't post videos. so follow the link!

neil diamond is a great, great songwriter. i'm not kidding. check out his new rick rubin produced album.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

follow the sound

follow the sound in my head. i wrote that the 2nd night after i moved out of my house. there's a song that accompanies it. and it's good too. one of my best. you'll never hear it. not the original. it's raw. ugh.
'cheer up, honey i hope you can/there is something wrong with me'.
jeff tweedy wrote that. i really love it. it's vague. y'know? it's open to interpretation. and i love that. i love how music lets you place your own shit on top of it. i love how music let YOU direct it. and how IT directs you. it keeps you from floating away. it keeps you from feeling so alone.
i love people. it's true. some of my favorite people are people. and you, dear readers, are my favorite people. i know all 5 of you, ( i may be overestimating my popularity) and you are swell folks. but i think of you all in musical terms. some gbv, some beat happening, some costello, some bad religion, some springsteen, etc. etc. etc.
and it's a gift, and a curse. to paraphrase monk. yeah, i love monk. i'm nearly monk.
i don't even know what i'm writing about anymore. something about...
music. jesus. i could do without anything but.
i've lost alot. i guess. no more than any of you, i know but...
i try not to live in the past.
i break it down with music.
'amrican pie'
'built for speed'
'born in the u.s.a.'
'too tough to die'
'pleased to meet me'. shit. the replacements. you can not understand the importance of me discovering the replacements. where had we been all our lives?
'blood and chocolate'
'sebadoh 3'
'there's nothing wrong with love'
'the nashville sessions'. that's townes van zandt. purchased in new paltz, ny.
'pet sounds'. sigh. pet sounds. i'll never, ever get over you, 'pet sounds'.
and who knows what's to come? it's kinda exciting!
i mean, i hate life, but i love music! and that's what keeps me going!
and i've discovered new bands lately! ones that invigorate me! crooked fingers! the hold steady! uncle tupelo! ( yeah, i know, they're old but i just got into them. sue me.)
so, you know, there's stuff to live for.
there's music to live for.
the music i imagine in my head.
someday i'll hear it.
follow the sound in my head.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

idle hands are the devils playthings

that's one of my favorite expressions in the english language. one must have work, one must keep busy.
and fall is coming, soon. and the days get dark, and a chill seeps through the cracks. and the body atrophies, the mind slows. it's almost hibernating time.
but i've been asleep too long!
i've given myself a task!
i'm going to create a database for all my music. something i can punch up on the computer, or print out and give to acquaintances who may want to expand their musical vocabulary.
but how should i organize it? alphabetically? do i start with hasil adkins? or 13th floor elevators? do they go under 't'? and do i put roky ericksons solo work alongside them? ugh. plus,i always think about how dickie scoffed at alphabetical arrangement in 'high fidelity'. and i really liked cusaks idea of arranging them autobiographically. but that may require far more recall than i possess.
perhaps chronologically. but again there are question. do you place them when they were recorded or when they were released? 'people take warning' contains tracks recorded in 1913, but the collection was released in 2007. robert johnson. only released in the '80's.
and what about genres? do you separate jazz from rock from surf from reggae from noise from country? i don't like that idea. my one gripe about record stores is that everything isn't lumped together. sure, i'm a rock snob, but that just encourages the wrong type of people to be dicks. yeah, i'm talking about jazz fans.
should i put a whole category for compilations and various artists? that always gets so messy.
separate dead artists from live ones?
side projects? do they go alongside bands the members come from? does loose fur go with wilco or jim o'rourke? or sea and cake? or sonic youth?
and where the fuck do box sets fit in with all this?
jesus, i need to take a nap.
but not for too long. cuz i've gotta keep busy. there's a hell hound on my trail.

Monday, August 4, 2008

my book

so i'm writing a book. it's about my life with music. i won't get into it too much here, but i found a quote to begin it with. i love this!

'Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.'
Laurie Anderson

that's so great.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

well said, etc.

'that's the beauty of music. because when it feels right, it does feel like you invented it-because you did. you invented it for yourself.'-jeff tweedy

Saturday, August 2, 2008

i went there on business

woke up, rolled out of bed. that's where the beatles reference ends. it was misting out and that seemed just right. gray and gloomy. this was yesterday? yes, yesterday. my head throbbed. i remember thinking i should flush my phone down the toilet. i am a man of impulse, not thought!
so, things weren't looking great.
then something snapped. crackled. popped!! (jesus, that's terrible.)
got on the 70 and headed to the record store. quickly, like taking an antidote.
it's not easy for me to find people to record shop with. i take a long time. i don't like to converse when i'm doing it. i'm meticulous, cuz, otherwise, i may miss something. solomon burke was playing, so that was a good start. cuz sometimes the fine folks at EDM play some horrid shit. wasteful, really, with all that magic at yr fingertips.
and clouds parted, and solid rays of light shone a path. angels don't exist, i know, nor devils. but sometimes i write them into my story.
i flipped through the records, the cd's, and that feeling of well being returned. i miss that feeling. and there was all this beautiful music, just throwing itself at me. and i'm sure i passed over something special. and that's exciting. because it's out there now, waiting for me, waiting for me to redlightgreenlightonetwothree at just the right moment. but these are the few i was lucky enough to stumble on:

1.von sudenfed-tromatic reflexxions. yeah, i know, i'm not a huge electronic fan. but, jesus, mark e. smith fronts this band!! and i will buy anything the man puts his name on. cuz he's never done anything bad. and he is the coolest man to walk god's god awful world. check out the falls peel sessions box set if you don't believe me. as for this one, well, i like it but i won't subject you good folks to it.

2.gil scott-heron-pieces of a man. jazz poetry. y'know.'the revolution will not be televised'. one of those guys i've always been interested in but never got into. so now i'm gonna try. to be honest, part of the reason i got this is to bolster my snob rep.

3.r.e.m.-fables of the reconstruction. i always thought 'reconstruction of the fables' would have been a better title. but what do i know? i'm a deli clerk and these cats are billionaires. i've found myself in the position of having to rebuild my record collection. so this is a step. this is a great, tho' imperfect album. but it's worth the money for 'driver 8'. don't know it? download it. you'll thank me. or at least not curse me. which, really, is just as good.

4.vic chesnutt-north star deserter. i will always buy whatever vic puts out. he is beautiful. there's not a voice that moves me more. i am, frequently, brought to tears by the man. don't tell anyone that tho'. i gotta seem cool for the ladies. another solid album. another great band behind him. he mixes it up. i like that. tho' really, i'd just like to hear him re-create 'little' over and over. please, do yourself a favor, and own 'little'. there is, simply, nothing better. oh, and he covers a nina simone song on this album. probly the only guy who could do it right.

5.camper van beethoven-key lime pie. their last album. y'know before they re-formed. but in my mind, this was it. what can i say? i'm a big lowery fan. i remember trying to explain to lucy what a californian accent sounded like. i don't know if there is one, but if there is, he has it. a mellow twang. and i think their quirkiness (like they might be giants') obscures the beautiful music, and lyrics, and moods, they create. i was recently reminded how great a song 'all her favorite fruit' is. another example of the everyday sadness, and beauty, we're surrounded with everyday. that sadness and beauty makes me glad to be alive. again, don't tell anyone. the rep. plus, it's got 'when i win the lottery' on it, which i'm petitioning to become the new national anthem.

6.uncle tupelo-still feel gone. uncle tupelo were supposed to be a country band. anyone who's heard them knows that's bullshit. they're more like dinosaur jr. or maybe i'm just saying that because this album was recorded at fort apache. anyone get that reference? and this album has 'gun'. tweedys' (yeah, jeff 'wilco' tweedy) finest uncle tupelo moment. sounds like he swallowed westerberg whole. 'my heart, it was a gun/ but it's unloaded now/ so don't bother'. i wish i wrote that song when i was 23. i coulda been a contender! instead of a bum. which is what i am. that's a quote from 'raging bull'. seen that? it's great. i love boxing, by the way. that upsets some people. what can i say. i live vicariously.

7.the hold steady-stay positive. i'm gonna keep this brief, cuz i have a big piece planned on the hold steady. i'll say this: i haven't felt so invigorated, haven't had such a visceral response to a band since i first heard springsteen. and i was fucking 9 when i first heard springsteen. (idea for a posting: did hearing 'the river', the album, and more specifically, the song when i was nine alter the way i view the world? did springsteen ruin my life? if i had listened to the knack would i be more mentally healthy?) what a joyful band. i don't wanna get into it too long. these guys deserve their own piece. but i'll say this: the hold steady restore my faith in ROCK! be it dead or alive....

well, i've gone on long enough. and i can't imagine any of you are all that interested in my humble opinions. but i'd like to thank these records for saving me. once again. there will always be a debt i can't repay.

Friday, August 1, 2008

mixmaster feeb

i love to give music to people. it's a thrill. while i much prefer to make mixed tapes, fewer and fewer people have the technology anymore. i'm living in the past, man!
but i think i make a pretty good mix. sure, i put on a few clunkers. and i may try to push my taste on people more than i should, but for the most part i think they're good. so good, in fact, that i am thinking about starting my own business. making mixed cd's for people. $5 a disc. pretty good deal, huh? now that's a job i could get into!
here's the latest disc i made. i like how i started it out. dramatically. i think it has a good flow. i would listen to it! here it is:

1.all her favorite fruit-camper van beethoven
2.why can't i be you?-the cure
3.railroad lullabye-the twilight singers
4.what you do to me-teenage fanclub
5.she came and she touched me-townes van zandt
6.levi stubbs' tears-billy bragg
7.everything is broken-bob dylan
9.buggin'-flaming lips
10.bernadette and her crowd-vic chesnutt
11.when they come to murder me-black francis
12.chan chan-buena vista social club york city song-dion
14.fistful of love-antony and the johnsons
15.i'm only sleeping-the beatles
16.nightime-big star
17.crush on you-bruce springsteen
18.the weather-built to spill head is my only house unless it rains-capt. beefheart
20.jar of cardinals-guided by voices

it's a burden, sometimes, having flawless taste in music. but i'm willing to shoulder it. for you. the listener.
uh, you know i'm being sarcastic, right?