Wednesday, December 21, 2005

For both of you dear readers

I missed my deadline for Current in December, so I'd like to help you out with your four or so shopping days (Meijer is open even on Christmas Eve...) with a post on the other vestigial blog Ann Arbor/Ypsi Music.

I'll post my own list here, but it's gonna be mostly things I've discovered, not things that were released this year. Why? Because I say so.
(Oh, and the hold-up on putting out more of those giant dumps of mp3s is that I've run out of hard drive space to store the .zip files. If anyone wants to buy me a new computer, I'd gladly accept it...)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

New Year, New Bands

Wrote my January column, featured Descent of the Holy Ghost Church, Canada, Woodward, Tyvek, and The Pantones

I thought about mentioning 9volt Hotel, but they're from Cleveland and don't seem to have much going on, and The Pizzazz, who I really like, but also have no shows coming up...

To the bands I did mention: GET THE FUCK OFF OF MYSPACE! AARRRRRG!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Just in time for Xmas

Aside from the silliness of yesterday's survey, it's time to get back to the whole point of this blog: Silly music.

Starting here, the idea of a Christmas sandwich sounds terrible.
Until you think "But what if the song was so weird an infectious that you couldn't turn away?"

From Metafilter's PinkStainlessTail, here comes the #1 Christmas hit with a bullet: Jingle Rock Bell.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Incest, incest, it's the best.

It starts here, or maybe here, and the hipsters try to get enough critical distance to tell who's who.

While some of the questions are good, they're lacking in very basic way: they're not actually hip. Oh, and they don't have a Sassy-esque grading scale.

So I'm here to add new questions, make it multiple choice, and ride herd.


1: Without looking it up, can you fill in the blanks in this sentence: “The Technology Center is on _______ between _______ and _______, but why are you going there? That place sucks now. Oh wait, I mean, it burned down.”

a. Liberty, Ashley and First
b. Washington, First and Third Ave.
c. Huron, Chapin and Fourth Ave.

(a: 0 points; b: 10 points; c: 5 points)

2. You’ve seen Davy Rothbart and [enter favorite member of Pas/cal here] at a bar, but you didn’t make a big deal out of it, right? After all, they’re just dudes hanging out.
For true hipster cred though, what's Davy's little brother's name, the one that's following him on tour with his band:

a. Robert
b. John
c. Peter

(a&b: 0 points. c: 10 points.)

3. Have you been in a photo, even in the background of a photo, published on the inside front page of the Ann Arbor Paper?

Take 10 points for yes, 0 points for no.

4. Did you consider opposing the couch ban to be being "politically active"?

Ten for yes, zero for no.


5. In the past six months, have you been to two Madison House shows? (anybody can luck into one).

Ten for yes, zero for no. Take an extra five if Jason Voss was playing.

6. In the past year, three Encore employees have been mentioned in the UK magazine WIRE. Take 10 points for each one you can name, and an extra five for their band name/alter-ego.

(Aaron Dillaway, Wolf Eyes; Fred Thomas, Saturday Looks Good To Me; Tadd Mullinix, Dabrye/James Cotton)

7. How much is a Deluxe Big Ten Burrito?

a. $3
b. $3.95
c. $4

(a&b: 0 points; c: 10 points.)

8. Dorky D has what?

a. An STD
b. A Promising Local Band
c. A Blog

(a: 10 points; b&c: 0 points. For a five point bonus— who's Dorky D?)

9: The Halfass is in what UM building?

a: West Quad
b: East Quad
c: The Michigan League

(a&c: 0 points. b: 10 points. Bonus five points if you know the real name for the Halfass or the group that puts on the shows there.)

10: Put these bands in order, based on number of current members (touring size):
From most to least

a: Nomo, Saturday Looks Good To Me, Funkelligence
b: Saturday Looks Good To Me, Nomo, Funktelligence
c: Nomo, Funktelligence, Saturday Looks Good To Me

(a: 10 points; b&c: 0 points. Funktelligence broke up.)

11: You get your coffee at—

a: Starbucks
b: Cafe Ambrosia
c: Espresso Royale

(a: 0; b: 10; c: 5)

12: Fred Thomas's label is—

a: Polyvinyl
b: Ypsilanti Records
c: Bomp

(a: 5; b: 10; c: 0)

13: "The 8-ball's all right, but it can never compare to":

a: Leopold Bros.
b: Bab's
c: The Del

(a: 5; b: 0; c: 10)

14: From North to South, the show houses ran:

a: Bad Idea, Totally Awesome, Madison House
b: Madison House, Totally Awesome, Bad Idea
c: Totally Awesome, Bad Idea, Madison House

(a: 5; b: 0, c: 10)

15: At Leopolds, you order:

a: Their top shelf gin, neat
b: A "Red Wing"
c: a Labatt

(a: 5, b: 10, c: 0)

16: The Kiwannis thrift store is open when?

a: Saturdays, 9am to noon
b: Saturdays and Sundays, 9am to 4pm
c: Weekdays from 9am to 5pm

(a: 10, b&c: 0)
Now, subtract 1 point for any of these things:

Going to Scorekeepers, Good Time Charlies, or Touchdown Cafe.
Remembering what the Necto used to be called (either name). If you can do that, you're too old to be hip.
Shopping in Nichol's Arcade (Henrietta's gone).
Can afford to eat at The Roadhouse.
Have ridden the Link but don't have a bus pass.

Subtract five for any of these things:
Going to Cafe Oz, Studio 4 or Live at PJs
Knowing who Todd Mundt is
Wearing new clothes.
Cheering when the Pig has a no smoking show (five points returned if you can name the last no smoking show at the Pig).

200-180: You're a hipster dreamboat. Your vintage clothing sparkles as you bat away advances from waifs and bloggers trying to chat you up.

179-150: You're almost there! You may not know everything hip to know about the town, but you can look down on jerks who make quizzes.

149-100: Ah, the vast unwashed middle. Time to affect a NY accent or start memorizing grafitti in the Fleetwood bathroom.

99-50: Where are you from? Charlevoix?

50-1: You're blessed. Leave now before you start posturing.

Below zero: Liar. You've looped yourself back into hipsterdom by denying it. Your ironic sorority/fraternity pose impresses no one, and your secret Death Cab collection is for naught.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

9volt Haunted House

A Gift Freely Given is the type of noise that I like: atmospheric, spacey, and pretty warm. Imagine Lightning Bolt without the drums...
You can always buy their stuff here.
(Vaguely via here, as I fished around in their offsite links...)

Wölfbait!

Wölfbait's Broadsword is one of the finest metal experiences you can have, aside from their "Dawning of the Robot Age," which is unfortunately only on my work computer (and they've removed the link). So what should you do? Go to their site and buy their damn EP.

GRATE LOOKS GIRLS!

Well, so even though no one ever comments, I added that site meter thing to the page, and I can see where people are coming from. That was why I put the Google Ads on there in the first place (since I'm never gonna make any money off of them. I keep 'em because I get a perverse kick out of seeing that I've raised 2¢ in a month).
This week's top referring search has been "girls look grate," which has returned an entry I made on the spammy comments I was getting. It's the circle of life.

So, in order to bring in more mislead searchers, here's The Mau Mau's Sex Girls in Uniform.

A festive punk burner, Sex Girls In Uniform is the kind of thing that I enjoy, yet feel constrained about putting on mix tapes for people I don't know all that well. Kind of like DOA's Tits on the Beach. Ah, where is the misogyny of those early punk rockers? Bikini Killed, I'd imagine.

Friday, December 09, 2005

20 Jazz and Funk Greats




Weekend Mix.

I was thwarted in my attempts at MeCha Radio, so I'm posting what I would have played here.

Canceling Stamps At The University Of Ghana Post Office Postal Works - Univ. of Ghana Post Office

An ethnographic recording from the happiest office in the world, these clerical workers stamp and whistle. And stamp and whistle. And make me hate my office.

spin the impossible dreamers

Recommended by an internet friend when asked for funk on a YSI ILM thread. I haven't been able to dig up anything about them, but maybe I'm just less curious now. It's great, sounds like it came from the early '80s, and should make you dance. If I DJed The Bang, this is what I'd play.

Rock It Up Equinox

Remember when I was talking about the Muncie Sampler? There's still more great stuff on it. What I like about this track is the tape distortion that takes a regular weekend rocker track and turns it into this surreal, otherworldly transmission. It's beautiful.

Your Talk Sunshine, I Breath Fire (Bonus Track) The Amboy Dukes

Y'know, Ted Nugent used to claim that he didn't know any of these songs were about drugs. It's just a shame that he went the other way, away from being a great (straight) pysch guitarist into being some sort of juvenile pussy goon. Even though I assume he's gotten plenty of groupie girls in his day, songs like Wang Dang Sweet Poontang just make him seem like a high school virgin. Didn't have to be that way, Ted...

romantic rights jesper dahlback mix Dfa 1979

Y'know, this band is one of the most over-rated sacks to come out in the last couple of years, yet all of the dance remixes that hit 'em come off as masterful. I like the New Wave vocals on the track, and the squared-off bass.

Cely Le Super Etoile de Dakar

It means The Superstars of Dakar, which is in Senegal. Like the Equinox track above, it's really about the distortion for me. This time, on the thumb piano, which gives it an otherworldly quality.

Robin's Theme Sun Ra & The Blues Project

Yeah, that Sun Ra. Did you know that he did an album of Batman Themes? Weird-ass motherfucker. This, and more than a few tracks from the next mix I post, come from the Bubblegum Machine, which takes an expansive view of "bubblegum."

Riboflavin-flavored, Non-carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood 45 Grave

I was sent this track on a mixtape years ago, and finally found another copy of it. Well, not quite. This one's from an earlier, out-of-print EP. Halloween's only over for the SQUARES, man.

Yaye Boul Ma Bayi Guelewar

More Music from Senegal. I like how stretched out this one is, a long and easy journey. And a little calming for the middle of the mix.

No More Ghettos in America Stanley Winston

This was one of hte 45s that John Peel kept in a stash next to his bed, ever ready to carry it out in case of a fire. It's beautiful, both in sentiment and exectution. I have another version of this, taped off the radio, where Peel says it's one of the songs that never fails to make him cry. You can hear his voice choked up and gulping even then on the radio. That's the type of love for music I like.

Way Down The Old Plank Road Uncle Dave Mason

Uncle Dave Mason comes to us via the Smithsonian's American Folk Anthology. Recorded by Alan Lomax, this is what American music sounded like for many years— a tale of drunken repentance. Much better than the fake history peddled by "conservatives," this is a bite of how things used to be.

Lawn Dart Ed's Redeeming Qualities

And then there's this. A story rooted in my childhood, I do remember when they took the Lawn Darts off the shelves at the K-Mart. Rarely have turf tragedies been so lovingly rendered.

Up All Night Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats

Just the Live Aid guy? No way! Geldof deserves more credit than he gets for his pop music. And dig how much he wants to sound like a late-'70s Bowie on this track!

Rubber Bullets 10cc

It's the narrative that I love on this song, though the whole bubblegum production is fantastic as well. The open politicism, riffs on famous rock songs of the past, and the idea of a dancing riot of prisoners all make this a great pop track. Thanks for the folks at MetaChat for turning me onto it.

A New Year's Promise Mischief

Speaking of which, there's a poster there that asked for a critique of this song. I like its simplicity and the catchy klein-Kraftwerk sense of it. It's like a bit of fennel after an Indian meal...

Boogie Down Bronx (Rap Version) Man Parrish & Freeze Force

And it led us nicely into Man Parrish's old-school bid for electro cool. He's not from Queens, where Boogie Down Productions was, but he loves their sound.

Return The Gift Gang Of Four

And around the same time, there were post-punkers Gang of Four. I just found Entertainment last week finally, so you get to share in my current love for them. A lot of people think that post-punk somehow means no pop hooks, but their plea for evenings and weekends couldn't be catchier.

Waking The Witch Kate Bush

Bush has a new album out now, after 10 or so years. She put this one out when at the top of her career, yet this track is hard to imagine on a pop album. Creepy, powerful and present, this was also something that I remember my parents playing often when I was a kid. Worth revisiting.

Paradiso Konono nr. 1

And let's lead it out with Congotronics, the amplified music of The Congo. Homemade instruments and confident grooves give this veteran group (led by a 70-year-old man) a shot at global success. I'm still bummed that I missed them when they came here live, but what can I say? I found out about it too late. Don't let the same thing happen to you.

(Oh, and the picture was just one that I thought would make for a good cover pic if I printed this out...)

Looks better now don't it?

Like the color change?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Belle and Sebastian

Fluxblog posts the first Belle and Sebastian track that I've liked in YEARS. It's got that synth clavier funk behind it that reminds me of Chairmen of the Board, and while the vocals are a bit over-slick, it's still gorgeous pop. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Oh yeah...

And, if that's not enough, we here at Honest Engine live through the doctrine of SYNERGY! That's right, more for your money. Here's American electro musician Maxx Klaxon doing The Internationale, everyone's favorite communist pop tune.

SYNERGY!

By popular demand

As you may well know, I'm always getting requests for more Italian Communist Skate Punk music.
"Josh," they say, "When are we finally going to get to hear a strident call to arms in a language we don't understand over squeeling guitars?"

Now.
The band is called Klaxon, and I recommend Piazza as my current favorite.

Give 'em a listen, then comment here...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Given the choice

Between Prussian Blue [direct mp3; hosted at National Vanguard. Beware] and crazy creationists, I'll take the creationists every time [WFMU mp3 link].

At least the Monkey Song is catchy. I can hear myself humming it in the middle of the day as I go about my, I dunno, praying or whatever. Repudiating evolution or screaming at abortion clinics, cursing idolitors. Whatever.

But the Prussian Blue girls? Man, if that ain't the most bored-soundin' studio band they got behind 'em. And the reworking of Kipling's The Stranger? Ol' Rudyard was saddled with one of the worst first names in the history of white people (say it slow... "Rud-yard" and see if you can keep from smirking), so his resentment towards the Nehrus and Mahatmahs is kinda understandable in a perverse way.
I know, I know. Everyone's supposed to be so scared of Prussian Blue (well, us liberals is) because they're young and innocent. But if that's the best those inbred albinos can whip up to captivate the youth, they've already lost the war. Those girls'll be double-dicked by the mongrel races before they hit 18, I tell you what.

(Speaking of which, I'll have a new YSI mix up in a little bit, full of afropop sure to twist the titties of any SS types that might stumble across this board in their random googling...)

Small changes

Been without the internet for a little bit, then doing some changes once I got back.
NOW WITH SIDEBAR FEED! IT'S AWESOME!

Also, now with Haloscan comments, so that I can stop getting "GRATE BLOG TRY MINE V!AGRA IS SEXXXXY" in my email.

All of your comments are still there, but they're hiding. So leave some new comments so I know this is working.

And I'll give you some music.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Holiday Music

It's Thanksgiving, which means that it's OK to post Christmas music. You know, to be festive.

Speaking of festive, here's Suicide's Hey Lord.
It's a rip from out of print vinyl, so the sound quality is a little muddled. On the other hand, I like that as it makes it seem more reverent. It's a beautiful song and one that reflects my general emotional state around the holidays.

Give it a listen, then comment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I am the loneliest blogger

I know that at least one person reads this, though I don't know who. If you do read it, please, drop me a comment so that I may feel the basking warmth of your love.

I even turned off the thing that makes commenting kinda a pain in the ass but prevents most spammers under the vain hope that someone out there is reading this, but those verification things in the comments are just a little too much.

To sweeten the deal, there'll be a song hidden in the comments.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hope this finds you

Probably my favorite Dabenport song. Finds You Well. Buy their album at Dabenport.com

This one always reminds me of a trip I took to St. Louis, missing my girlfriend and standing around in the airport.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Mohammed's Radio

Something sweet and soulful? No Warren Zevon though.

The Traxxorz—

Keleya Moussa Dombia

This comes from the Luaka Bop World Psychedelic Classics 3: The Fuzzy Funky Sounds of West Africa, as does a previous selection (which had the name and the artist transposed on the tags, and me being an ignorant honkey didn't even notice— though I suppose I can be forgiven since the album has the wrong band billed. "Guajira Van" is the name of the song, performed by the Star Band Number One). It's long and varied, like an endless James Brown vamp. There's a little digital noise in there, so maybe you should Buy the album.

College Girl I Love You Bappi Lahiri

From WFMU's On the Download page comes a tale of love and funk. Universal, really. We all love a college girl. By the way, the familial testing of this song (played in front of parents and girlfriend) reveals that I'm the only one that I know who likes it. Help me be not the only one! (No links to buy, as this doesn't seem to exist on any western album, and both All Music and Amazon mock me...)

Get The Lead Out Greg Guffey

From Bob Chaos records in Muncie, Indiana, comes a fantastic bit of power pop, layered with the slow warp of tape noise.

Shape Of Things To Come Les Baxter

Apparently, there was this movie in the '60s called "Wild in the Streets." It was about lowering the voting age to 14 or so, and the subsequent election of a 16-year-old congressboy. The shape of things to come? From Denny, Esq.

Alone Again Biz Markie

Gilbert O'Sullivan doesn't want you to hear this song! All copies were ordered destroyed, yet Illegal Art has copies. Hmmmm...

Straight Outta Compton Kid606

I first heard this song in the glory days of Napster, and had a slightly different version. Alas and alack, that song's gone now and what I have comes from the Wire magazine. It's just a fucking assault though, this massive explosion. And it's still by far the best thing that Kid 606 has ever done.

Flying Turns Crash Course In Science

Track recommended by ILXors. Apparently post punk from Pennsylvania. It just fit really well with the 606.

Trance Kwaku Baah & Ganoua

From the No Condition is Permanent folks. You read that, right? Fuckin' fantastic, innit? Yeah.

Baby Talk (Lost '77 Mix) Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers

There's a reissue of LAMF that's just come out, but this isn't it. It's a vinyl rip from the original album, which was decried for having a shitty, impenetrable mix at the time, but now sounds just fine. Since I think that the guy who runs Regnyouth and I listen to the same music, I got this album about two days before he put it up to download. Tasty stuff, it sounds like the music that the Rolling Stones should have been making in '77, and should be in any well-formed record collection.

I Love You Too Much Michael Dracula

A Scottish band signed to the newly reformed ZE Records, it's No Wave like your moms used to make.

It All Falls Down Band Of Fun

More from Muncie. Go, Muncie, Go! There's a great pop song deep beneath the muck and samples, one that reminds me of The Dirtbombs more than anything else. Fuckin' fantastic. Where is the Band of Fun now?

Say Dub Errol Brown & the Sky Nations

Er.. um... More No Condition is Permanent, only this time some amazing dub. You should really check his site out, as he does a better job of making you love this stuff than I do.

George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People The Legendary K.O.

It was topical a couple of months ago, so I know that a lot of you have heard this song. But what I like about it is that it still carries weight outside of the context of the Katrina disaster. The sample's catchy (even though it's a little weird to use Jamie Foxx riffing on blind Mr. Charles), and the flow is impeccable. Let the rediscovery of George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People commence.

I'm Gonna Run The Fiery Furnaces

A couple years ago, these guys were indie darlings. Their debut album, the Gallowsbird Barks, is a catchy mishmash of indie rock, blues and pop, and this is about the best track on there. The next to albums they've put out have been more and more self-indulgent and "cute," but their first really does bear relistening. Unless you're my girlfriend, at which point you just declare that "She sounds like a man!" and refuse to listen to it.

The Christian Life (Rehearsal--Take) The Byrds

An alternate take from the extended reissue of Sweetheart of the Rodeo, the beautiful album when The Byrds stopped being a second-rate hippy Dylan knock-off and became a gorgeous country ensemble. Again, my mother hates it. I've yet to play it for any Christians, but I plan on needling my friend the Pastor with it...

May The Earth Open Here Gallon Drunk

From the album "Tonight... The Singles Bar." Years ago, I picked up this sampler called Volume that had a cd with it (and a weird early 90s booklet full of Bomb the Bass and EMF). On it was a live version of Gallon Drunk doing a Silver Apples cover ("Ruby"). At the time, I didn't know who either band was, but for 50¢, the sampler was worth it (YEAH CUT OUT BIN!). I loved their version of Ruby, sounding like hell in a swamp, and about a year later saw a compilation of their singles in a free bin, so I swooped down upon it. Fucking great, deranged country/western doom, like Nick Cave meets 16 Horsepower. Apparently they were considered Nick Cave knock-offs, but I'd listen to them over that dingy Aussie any day. May The Earth Open Here is a fantastic, fatalistic end to any night of drinking and sobbing. Oh, and the albums are as cheap as 94¢ on Amazon.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Long songs in the morning

We all listen to WJLB's strong songs in the morning, right? Right? Yeah, of course. I love Coco and Foolish.

On the other hand, you need a way to start your work-a-day off right: A long song in the morning. As with everything else on this blog, it'll be an intermittent feature.

Today we start with Can's Bel Air from Future Days. A 20-minute album-ending sprawler, Bel Air features the softer side of Can. I'd like to think that this is how they thought of California, sprawling and warm. The slow intro is the sun coming up, with Damo Suzuki mumbling under the mix.
The last song on the last album that Suzuki recorded before leaving the band, Bel Air transitions from beachfront morning to a soft goodnight.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Amazing blog

It's rare that I find a blog that I fall in love with nearly instantly, but No Condition is Permanent is one of them. From dub to afrobeat to just plain oddities, it's the sort of place that I feel like I can download anything and trust them. Add to that top notch writing, with a sense of narrative and place, and solid music, and you can't go wrong.
It's already been highlighted by The Wire, apparently, but I found it through an ILM link. Enjoy. I know I have been.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Happy Birthday, Chris

Well, his birthday was last Thursday, really, but I made him this mix for his party. It's mostly pop from around the world, which I hope he enjoys.
I had given him another mix about a month ago; it was initially made for this girl he was dating named Nikki. She'd come with him to a party of ours, and asked for a copy of a mix that I made. I didn't have any handy, but when I knew Chris was coming over, I gave him a copy of one that I had just run off. He said that he'd just broken up with her (because he's going to be moving at the end of the year), so I told him not to give the mix to her, but to enjoy it himself. He went ahead and gave it to her anyway. Which I think is pretty lame.
It was funny, getting stuck in conversation with her about the mix and being too polite to be like "I don't care if you like it, it was for him..."

Anyway, here's the new mix I made for Chris. Y'all get to enjoy the run-off.
Chris Birthday Mix.zip. EDIT: ALL THOSE LISTED AS SWEDISH ARE REALLY NORWEGIAN. THAT'LL TEACH YOU TO LISTEN TO ME.

The House On The Hill Armando Piazza

I found a copy of his album up on a noise board that I lurk on. I'm not sure why it was there; it's an acid folk album. What I really love is that squared-off overdriven guitar that runs just below the song.

no 1 de no 1 Guajira Van

Off of The Fuzzy Funky Sounds of Africa, someone sent this to me saying that I might get a kick out of it. I do. I wish I could find the comp, but it seems to be out of print. Maybe if I had more money, I could dig it up...

Are You The One? The Presets

Electropop! I remember Chris as liking Technotronic, so I kinda hope that he can still dig the unrepentant pop. He gave me a mix when I showed up at his birthday, but it was all Spoon and Arcade Fire and like that. I fear that he's begun the long, slow decline into the Moderate Rock that 93.9 the River used to play.

Aluminium The Thing

Pitchfork did this Big Outside article, and the comp got posted on the ILM boards. About three quarters of it was absolute crap, but this jazz track and a couple of the pop tracks were really tasty. The opening bass line sounds like Seven Nation Army.

Space For Rent [The Rapture/HUSH HUSH Remix] Who Made Who

MORE DANCE POP! My father, while we were cleaning out my basement of all my parent's and grandma's crap (so that the city could dig) put on New Order's Substance and then turned it off when he thought that I was mocking him for enjoying the synthpop ("homo music"). I thought he was finally coming back around after having made fun of me for listening to stuff like that for so long. Alas, we're still working on musical raproachment.

Second Song Afrirampo

I helped Amy with a Radiozilla show, and asked for Asian pop. Somebody sent this to me, and I love it. Girls in a garage in Japan.

Fake Your Beauty Bertine Zetlitz

More Norse pop. Bouncy.

Single Girl, Married Girl The Carter Family

After years of vaguely feeling that I should buy that damned Smithsonian folk comp ("Anthology of American Folk Music" that Alan whassisfuck field recorded) but not feeling like paying the government for music that wasn't going to go back to the artists, I found it online and downloaded the whole damned thing. Say yeah for the Carter family.

Fa-Fa-Fa Datarock

What's that? More Norwegian pop!

FRENZY! Screamin' Jay Hawkins

I got a Screamin' Jay Hawkins album on my last trip to New York (or maybe Boston, I don't remember). Most of it was disappointing, sounding like it had been smoothed out and having backing vocals added. But Frenzy is still wonderful.

Go Tones on Tail

Always been curious about these guys. Finally hear this track and think "Hey, I know that one!" It was unlabeled on my harddrive, and I have no idea where I originally got it.

Hearts In Exile The Homosexuals

One of the 142 singles that John Peel had in a box that he wanted to spirit out of the house if it caught fire. I love the echo on it, most punk didn't get that psychedelic. And I vaguely hope that Chris's straight-laced parents see the artist name, since I know that it'll mean disapproving looks. My parents aren't very easily freaked out by my music anymore, so I have to hope for havok elsewhere.

Surfs Up Ungdomskulen

Norweeeegish. "I tried to bribe the Deceptocons" is the first line. I often wonder if they know what they're singing in English...

In League With Satan Venom

For days, the "Eeeevil, in leage with SAY-TAN" has been stuck in my head. Metal isn't supposed to be this catchy.

Who Is It (Vitalic Mix) Bjork

Back to the dance pop. More and more, I tend to dig the remixes of Bjork over the actual album tracks. This is a good one.

Bucky Skank The Upsetters

Lee Perry plus skankin'? Classic.

Nausea (restructured) Adult

This sounds so cheerful, it's hard to believe that it's Adult. And yet, it is.

Jellycones The Unicorns

I hate the Unicorns, but I love this song. It's one of the few times that their quirkyness doesn't override the tune they're playing with. And how did Vice magazine end up championing something so fucking twee?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I sent it elsewhere, I might as well send it here

My Last Xmas by The Dirtbombs, Detroit's finest rock band. A reissued 7" off of their new(ish) If You Don't Already Have A Look. Dirtbombs site here. This is one of those rare times when I just say to buy the goddamned thing. Just do it. You'll thank me.
Terrorized by The Posies. Good jangle pop from the Pop Culture Press Summer Sampler from, what, like 1999? 2000? I think from the summer of 2000. I'm sure with a cursory amount of research you could find somewhere to buy this track from, but the sampler was really awesome...

Friday, October 28, 2005

The long and the short of it.

Another .zip mp3 mix here

Heavenly Music Corporation Brian Eno and Robert Fripp

A long and drony one from Fripp and Eno, rumoured to simply be an Eno album played backwards.

Siren Old Time Relijun

I hated the first Old Time Relijun track that I heard (and thought their name was hokey), but this one is delightfully weird. It has a dark and primative feel to it, like a backwoods revival. If the rest of their music is like this, I should find more.

FUTURE LANGUAGE VON LMO FUTURE LANGUAGE

When I first saw an interview with Von LMO in Motorbooty magazine, I thought that it was a made-up band. I mean, these were the Stooges Museum folks. But here it is, and it's fantastic.

Agitated (orig) Electric Eels the eyeball of hell

I'm glad I finally tracked these guys down. The blunt lyrics and juvenile rhymes really elevate this into genius-stupid territory for me. And it's so damn catchy.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner Iron Maiden Powerslave [Limited Edition]

Fuck yes, I love Iron Maiden. My parents were both surprised when I played this for 'em, with my father considering himself too much a music snob to get behind it and my mother... Well, not a lot of people's moms like metal, I'd say. Which is too bad. Weighing in at 13 minutes, this is full of bombast (cotton wadding) and bomb blast. "The albatros begins his revenge" may be the most fun line to sing along with in a falsetto. This is Iron Maiden's magnum opus, and they make it work.

LESBIANS! Rev. Willie Wilson

An Indiana? Ohio? preacher tells us what's wrong with the kids today. Lesbians, strap-ons and prom all make an appearence.

Snapshot The Art of Noise (Who's Afraid of?) the Art of Noise!

A minute long interlude from Art of Noise. I've been loving the shit out of this album lately. I'll be all like, damn, Art of Noise, you lookin' fine tonight. I think I'll toss you into another mix.

Roundabout The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band The Incomparables

Michigan marching band makes good by funktifying Yes's greatest pop hit. How can you not love this groove?

Deep Soul Pt. 1 Ron Buford Wheedle's Groove: Seattle's Finest In Funk and Soul, 1965-75

Speakin' of the groove, this is one of the few tracks off of the Wheedle's Groove coms that actually delivers. Deep, soulful, an answer for James Brown from the Space Needle.
Revenge Rondelles

On K records, some great girl pop.

Israelites Desmond Dekker Israelites - The Best Of Desmond Dekker

My mom also thinks this is "weirdo music," despite enjoying it. "You're weird, Josh," she keeps saying while it plays. It's weird awesome maybe, the roots of ska and reggae.

Dawn Is Breaking Dry & Heavy Full Contact

I forget where I found this, but I love it. I remember it being mentioned as a cover, but I have no idea what the original sounds like. Help me, internets!

The Truth Shall Make You Free Mighty Hannibal Feed Your Head

What I love about this track is the echo behind his voice when he's doing the chorus. I wish more soul was like this, with a foot in psychedelia, but that seems to only happen when people are talkin' 'bout kickin' drugs.

Slow Death The Flamin' Groovies Feed Your Head

Speakin' of which, somebody else put this on their metachat mix too. I've loved these guys since I heard a Camper Von Beethoven cover of Pictures of Matchstick Men, and went out and ended up with Teenage Head. Thing of beauty, it is. More than the Stones or the Kinks, most garage rock bands want to be the Flaming Groovies.

Shaped Like A Gun Verbena Souls For Sale

This was the best boy/girl stoner rock band in history for one album. Then they let Dave Grohl produce, and found out that they just couldn't sling Foo style powerpop. They went away for years, came back and sucked. Their first album, Souls for Sale, is still a revelation though.

Love will Freak Us Apart d s i c o spasticated

I love goofy mashups. I don't even mind how out-of-water Missy sounds.

Der Mussolini DAF Troubled Diva Old Curiosity Box

You'll notice, German Speakers, that "Tanzen Adolf Hitler/Tanzen Mussolini" is in the imperative form. After all, that's what German's best at.

Optimo Liquid Liquid New York Noise: Dance Music From The New York Underground 1978-1982

Love this track, love this comp. You'll probably hear more off of it if you keep reading...

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Pendulum Clock

Right on, TexasDude. Pendulum clock indeed.

New weekend mix!

As usual, a You send it .zip here. Good music? Yea, verily.
Here's the tracklist:

Ghetto Rebels DJ Vadim U.S.S.R.: The Art Of Listening

Who says Russia doesn't have a hip hop scene? Well, sure, these rappers are clearly Yanks, but so what?

Give it to You (Screwed) Screwpy

This is what Jordan Knight sounds like when "sippin' 'zzurp." Mmm, 'zzurp. Screwpy has a Myspace page that I stumbled onto and now have lost again, but he does mostly UK chop and skrew mixes. My girlfriend Amy hates this song, both because she thinks the voice is incredibly creepy and because the original was pretty much a daterape song ("I'll hold you down/ you don't have to move/ I'll do the work"? Yeah, I like sex, but man, I can't stand all the work.) I like it because it sounds creepy, and the beat is just so damn crisp.

Don't Make Me Wait Peech Boys Classic Electro Mastercuts Vol.1

Another thing to blame Amy for. See, I hated electro when I first started dating her. Then, inevitably, she wore me down and I learned to love it. Then I kept going, plunging into unspeakable desire for simplistic dance beats and Italian disco. I remind her of this every time she rolls her eyes while we're listening to music. "It's your own fault! It's your own fault!"

RM #026. Surgery World Class Wreckin Cru SOMBie Lists

And speaking of electro, we can't forget about Dre. Before he did that whole no-one-can-stop-me-from-stealing-all-the-Pfunk-basslines-gangsta thing, he was in the World Class Wreckin' Cru. Here he is, young and sassy.

Rubber Glove Seduction (12" Version) PTP WaxTrax! Black Box: The First 13 Years (Disc 3)

My copy of this is scratched, so I'm lucky that someone went ahead and posted it to teh intarweb, thus allowing me to steal it. It's an Al Jourgenson joint, one of the dancier things that he did.

Cold Life Ministry Situation 2 12"

Speaking of ol' Al, this is what he sounded like when Ministry started. My father put this on a mixtape when I was a kid, along with Laurie Anderson and Shriekback. Aww, dad. And now he wonders where I get my love of goofy anglophilic post-punk...

Rapp Snitch Knishes Feat. Mr Fantastik MF Doom MM Food-(Explicit Retail)

You just cannot fuck with MF Doom. You cannot fuck with this man. A lazy, blazy track full tasty hooks. Whenever I hear MF Doom, I think of a guy from the Priceless Edge internships named Mad Mark (Schiff, I think was his last name). He was the prototypical indie kid who got into hip hop. It was through him that I learned to love Ludicris, who was just bubblin' outta the south then. Hope he runs across this...

A Time for Fear (Who's Afraid) The Art of Noise (Who's Afraid of?) the Art of Noise!

And back in, what, '81 or so, Art of Noise were doing cut-ups that still sound fresh 20 years on. Some of the first instrumental hip hop anywhere.

"B" Movie Gil Scott-Heron Reflections

On the other hand, and the reason why this mix won't fit on one CD (suck it, haters), there's Gil Scott-Heron. Despite battling a crippling crack addiction, the Reagan years were some of the best for Scott-Heron. And fuck this talk of a mandate, yo. Someday, I'll put Whitey on the Moon up here, since it's, like, my other favorite Scott-Heron joint. Another musician that was on mix tapes my dad made 20 years ago.

Ain't Nobody Chaka Khan 4

And to combat all that liberal horseshit, here's Chaka Khan, the soulful Republican booster. I'm not sure why Chaka Khan Chaka Khan does Bush rallies, but it doesn't bother me as much as, say, Toby Keith or Britney Spears. Maybe it's because she doesn't have the media clout, or because I really do like her music. And she has a better '80s track record than Aretha.

Monsterous Shinin Directors Cut Ep

Man, I don't know a damn thing about these guys. I found this on a promo sent by a cryptic label with a bunch of crap on it. While the second (white?) guy is a little stifled in his flow, there are just points where it clicks beautifully.

Slowdive (XFM Session) LCD Soundsystem Disco Infiltrator

Haha. I'm a dork. Where have you gone, Souxie Sioux, a nation turns its tired eyes to you... I always really liked her singles, not so much the album tracks, and LCD Soundsystem do a pretty solid cover. So... once he got Daft Punk out of his house, he invites some goths over? Ok by me.

Goddess Minny Pops Dolphin Spurt 7"

I got no idea about this one either, except that it's pretty gnarly. Help me out, internetters?

Clear Cybotron Electro Breakdance - CD 1

But electro breakdance? That's what I'm all about. I hope that you have a party going while you listen to this mix, and that when they start saying "clear" in their little robot voices that you feel compelled to bust a move.

Sucker D.J.'s (I Will Survive) Dimples D. Street Jams: Hip-Hop From The Top - Part 1

Sucker MCs took a lot of heat, and Dimples D. was there to fight back for the good of America. What, she asks, about the sucker DJs who so plague our nation? Should they not also be held accountable to the party population? You go, Dimples.

Murder Rap Above The Law GTA: San Andreas RIPPED Soundt

Yeah, I got this from some You Send It swap, and I'm repurposing it, because it's awesome. That beat, with the incessant sirens? This'll either inspire the hottest dancing of the night or clear the room. Either way, really.

bionic girl dj skeletor gwen stefani vs south rakkas crew
And another one that Amy rightly mocks me for. This shit IS bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. But DJ Skeletor knows to mix her low. Anyway, so ends the mix.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Mix-off!

This is the order in which to listen.
And here's the .zip file of about 45 minutes of AWESOME MUSIC!

Such A Spiv 3:30 School Meals

God, what a catchy tune, eh? Swiped shamelessly from the good folks at Strange Reaction. Apparently, a "spiv" is a well-dressed coniver, with con man and pimp undertones.

Drive My Car 2:45 Nasty Facts

Also from Strange Reaction. I feel a bit bad about using the same source twice, but he puts up such stellar stuff. This is an excellent bit of New Wave fluff.

Miracles 2:50 The Rants

Local boys done good. I found this on a Suburban Sounds sampler, and it was put out just before the band had a personelle shift, so it won't show up anywhere else. Oh, and don't bother with the SubSounds link right now, they've shuttered in a weird way. Hopefully they'll come back soon. The Rants are still around and still good, and I advise you to look for more of their stuff.
Snake Pussy 1:10 Je Suis France

What can I say, I loved the title of the track, and they sent me a promo years ago that I only recently re-listened to. It was surprisingly good! I think I didn't listen to them because that was when we were only reviewing local stuff or something. Anyway, it's become a favorite.

Dirty South 3:29 Orenda Fink

Sometimes you hear a song and think: Damn, this should be a hit. That's what this tune was like for me, though I'm not influential enough to guarantee it (and it's not really up my alley anyway), but it can't hurt to spread the word, y'know? If you like Sarah McLaughlin, this is a good thing to listen to.

This month, day ten 3:41 CanseiDeSerSexy

Brazillian breakup pop. Tasty, fun, with a weird cold stop that I apologize for...

Eating Noddemix 2:05 Young Marble Giants

I go back and forth on these guys. Sometimes I love 'em, other times they drive me up the wall. Probably the least aggressive post-punk band out there though.

The Consumer 2:20 Mechanics

More from Strange Reaction. That guy can't go wrong, y'know?

S.I.B. (Swelling Itching Brain) 4:29 Devo

But it plays into Devo so well. Off of Duty Now For The Future, a strangely underrated Devo album, SIB is one of the tightest freakouts that they've done.

Lazers 3:21 Danse Asshole

I've told you that I love Bulb Records, right? Well, they're having some trouble right now, and their main website has been taken over by a shitty casino. FIGHT THE POWER! BUY BULB RECORDS! Please, Pete Larson has a kid to feed and needs your hard earned money to keep making weirdo music availible for all of us. Help him! This track will explain why!

Girl, Kill Your Boyfriend 2:56 The Figgs

From a Pop Culture Press sampler, something from The Figgs, a Boston band that got signed then dropped during those "alternative" days in the early '90s. They've gone on to release several albums, all of them good but pretty much the same. If you like this track, you'll like The Figgs. I saw 'em with Marshall Crenshaw and they blew him off the stage.

Anglo Girl Desire 3:09 Radio Birdman

In Australia, down is up and up is down. Also, they're felons. Rock and roll felons. Just another goddamned great track from Radio Birdman.

Rock 'n' Roll Submarine 3:01 The Submarines

What the fuck is a rock and roll Submarine? I dunno, but I kinda wanna be one. Don't you?

Nine O' Clock 2:46 Snips

This came from the Little Hits, who have some of the best pop music around on a regular basis. I only like about half of the things they put up but damn, when they go, they go. This track is up there with the Mekons "After 6" or Blondie's "Waitin' on the Telephone." I might just sandwich those together on a different mix...

9 to 5 3:00 Dolly Parton

What can I say? I love Dolly Parton. Fuck off.

Since I posted this elsewhere...

I might as well do it here too.
Pommeri by Moonram Pirai off of the Filmsongs from Bollywood comp.
What I like is the sexy disco stylee to it, y'know. And it's catchy as hell. Bit overlong, but what can you do? The rest of the comp is good too, but I end up putting this on mixes more than anything else...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What, no Anal Cunt?

This is why great records can't be decided by democracy: because most people have shitty taste. Most people believe that they have good taste, but then they do things like vote for Coldplay or Genesis in their top ten albums ever.
And while there's an argument to be made for the subjectivity of lists, and maybe one of those people first had sex to the melifluous sounds of Phil Collins chirping susudio while they humped away, but picking any Genesis album is wrong. Even if it was a Peter Gabriel one and all stupid proggy.

So here's the title track off of what should be in, well, at least the top 20, but I didn't see it nominated even once: Alice Coltrane's Ptah the El Daud.

It's got a fantastic bass groove behind some of the most sweeping and beautiful '70s jazz around. Music to march to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Great Rough Guide to Ghostly International

Here
Yancy (which makes me think of Futurama) gives a fair-minded review of the Ghostly label, and writes up what would be an amazing comp.
Too bad Ghostly won't send me any promos or schedule interviews because I "made fun of their friends."

Friday, October 07, 2005

It's Friday

And this is the first in the series of Weekend Mixes. You've got a week from You Send It. Download and enjoy.
The Mix. It's in zip form, then mp3s, but import it and make it a playlist. It's pretty good, if I do say so myself. I'm going to try to do this every Friday.

Tracks:
Khalid Of Space Pt. 2 12:31 Larry Young

I love the explosive feeling of this track, the centerpiece of Young's album Lawrence of Newark. It's got this insane drive to it, this feeling of drunkenly swerving behind the wheel of a car. It's too crazy for my girlfriend; it drives her up the wall.

Better Than That (Live) 8:39 Nomo

Local afrofunk from The Local Music Show. Absolutely fantastic to see live, this track is one of those that I have a hard time imagining life without, like it seems that it should always have existed and was always part of my experience.

Unknown 6:08 Tokyo Kid Brother

Like insane Japanese showtunes from the '60s or something. I picked up this album about a year ago from a friend, and since I can't read any Japanese, I have no idea what the tracks are or anything. All I know is the title and that this is the first track on there. Anyone wanna help me out?

(Open Up) The Crab 0:56 The Many Moods Of Marlon Magas

Magas was the co-founder of Bulb Records with Pete Larson. Larson says that the internet is killing him and he may have to shutter Bulb. Do us all a favor and support this sort of genius by buying something at Bulb Records.

White Boys 2:37 The Cast Of Hair

It's a fun song, innit? Yeah, I love cheese as much as the next guy. And what's wrong with white boys? The song has this funky bassline that you only get from the movie soundtrack. The musical recording's pretty weak, frankly, but the film has it goin' on.

Last House On The Enchanted 1:50 Black Moth Super Rainbow

These guys sent me a promo with about 20 songs on it, which sounds like a speak and spell and analogue synths on a dying tape machine. It's good and bad in equal doses, but this is a pretty good song to move things along.

Aum Shinri Kyo 1:58 DJ Sushi

Part of the Japanese dubplate subculture, DJ Sushi put out a series of insanely great 12"s and then jumped in front of a subway train right after he was discovered by an American on tour in Japan. Odd and sad, but great music.

I Need A Beat 4:33 LL Cool J

It's odd how electro rap used to be. Oh, and this is a burner forever, y'know? You can't not like this and have any soul.

DJ Dangermouse 2:42 Encore

The best album to come out last year wasn't anything original; it was the mashup of The White Album and The Black Album into this juggernaut of catchiness. Really, if you haven't heard this already, you need to. And here it is!

Things Could Be Better 3:05 Ernie And The Top Notes (Featuring Raymond Winfield)

From the Peanutbutter Wolf 45s collection, this is an under-represented soul gem. I've looked all over for more info on Ernie and the Top Notes, but couldn't find any anywhere. Little help?

Beast With A Gun 2:50 Animal

Lo-fi pop from Aaron Nemik, on the "Executive Bird on a Judicial Branch" label (which, I believe, only puts out his stuff). I don't feel bad about sharing this track, because it's on his website, but you should go ahead and give him some cash for his other stuff. It's fantastic, and he needs more press.

Rhyme Scene / Rhyme Dream 2:07 El Guapo

El Guapo has a plethora of infectious electro-meets-free-jazz weirdness and this is one of the best. Their album Super/System is their best, though the Geography of Dissolution (where they play a lot of these songs accoustically) is awesome too.

Hey Lord 3:25 Suicide

Off of a Ze Records Christmas compilation, this Suicide track is great for any time of the year.

Nous Sommes Bi-Bi Ba-Ba Baum-Baum 2:59 Les Lunaurs

Bi-bi-ba-ba-baum-baum is so catchy... Bi-bi-ba-ba-baum-baum... Bi-bi-ba-ba-baum-baum... From the Freak Out Montreal comp.

Everyday 5:22 Saturday Looks Good To Me

Off of one of their earlier albums, this SLGTM really sums up the best of their sound: Dubby weirdness connected with Phil Spector wall-of-sound soul. Amazing. I'm not a huge fan of where they've gone, but they've been some fantastic places.

Take Me As I Am 2:37 Denise & Co.

She's gonna fuck your friend and you'd better like it, or she'll kick your ass. From the Girls in the Garage vol. 1 comp.

Down Home Girl 2:31 Demolition Doll Rods

The Demolition Doll Rods can be either brilliant or crap, and here I think they're brilliant. Also from Bulb. You should really buy more from Bulb. That's your new mantra.

America 5:21 The Au Pairs

The Au Pairs were one of those post-punk bands that everyone loves to cite, but not too many people listened to. Here's a blistering (and topical) indictment of America. Since Bush seems determined to bring back the '80s, at least we'll get the good, angry music, right?

El Barrio 7:14 Joe Henderson
More jazz, because you can't have too much, can you?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

We're gonna try this again.

The Chairmen of the Board were a Detroit soul group who mostly stuck to the slick stuff, aside from one album: The Skin I'm In. A raucus burner produced Jeffery Bowen, the Chairmen gave up their polished crooner sound for one more influenced by Parliament and George Clinton.
The band had no idea what Bowen was up to and hated the album when they heard it. One member even credited the album's electric pianos directly for their breakup (which happened during the tour for the album).

What does this prove? That musicians can't always be trusted to judge their own music.
Here's the title track. You can buy the album through Dusty Groove America

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Over a month.

I'm a bastard.
Here's Paza's Ninjani Diskus. "Dark" is the best track, mostly because of the vocals and spazcore Atari.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Getting rid of some music.

Taking a cue from the recent note in the Ann Arbor/Ypsi community, I'm getting rid of some albums. Or maybe not, depending on what I can get for them. Make me an offer. And if anyone wants grab bags of local rock from yesteryear, lemme know. I can give you five local rock albums for five bucks if you want the real things, three bucks if you just want burned copies. C'mon, I got a sealed copy of Chain Reaction's Electric Playground (they either sent me two, or maybe I just didn't listen to it because of the Disney-cum-Rush cover). Hey, at least there are mp3s.

Cop Shoot Cop: Suck City EP
This brief EP is a mixed bag of double drum grit and gloom, with songs like Nowhere being vicious grinders and We Shall Be Changed sounding like mid-'90s WaxTrax sample assemblage. I've burned the album for myself, but rarely listen to it. Fans of Wolf Eyes might like it though. Nowhere.mp3.

American DJs: 03 Boston (Mike Traylor)
A decent mix of "underground" house music, or at least that's what the sticker says. Apparently, it's "deep progressive funk." Just another genre I never got into... Oh, and it's continually mixed, so you can have your own party where you pretend you're in Boston. That'd be wicked.
Lectric Workers- Robot Is Systematic

Phase Selector Sound: Disassemble Dub
Spacy dub from ROIR. I picked it up in a shop in NY when I had no time to browse and just wanted something before the train left. At the time, I really liked it. I think I smoked a lot more pot then. If I had a gallery, I'd play this in the background to make the space seem hip without giving people anything more than a groove. I put a song from this on a mix for a girl once, and it totally worked. Now I regard that as a failing: my current girlfriend has much higher standards for her mix tapes, and seems to really hate modern dub.
Sinewave

Chemical Brothers: Setting Sun
Pretty cool guitar riff that this song is built around. It was pretty cool when the Beatles did it too. Of course, if you're sampling the Beatles in the '90s, you need to have Noel Gallagher on there. Which they do, of course.
Setting Sun.


Gary Chapman: Circles and Seasons
Autographed copy from the guy who beat up Amy Grant until she left him! He came and spoke to our Music in High Places/ Priceless Edge workshop on independent music. His advice? Have a friend who works everywhere you need to put out an album. Chapman got someone to build him a studio in his basement for free, then got a friend to manufacture his CDs for free, then another friend to distribute them worldwide. Maybe that's easier in Christian rock. Oh, I didn't mention that this was Christian? Well, see, I've never really listened to it. I bet it totally gets you in with God though. Please buy it. Did I mention it's signed by the guy who beat up Amy Grant? If we can't support Christianity, can we at least support domestic violence? [No mp3.]

At the very least, download these and enjoy knowing that you're not buying the damn things like I did (mostly).

Monday, June 13, 2005

Went to Chicago, got music.

At Dusty Grooves: Silver Apples, Contact.
Various Artists, Wheedle's Groove (Best of Seattle Soul and Funk)
Various Artists, Tryin' To Make Ends Meet (Best of Rare Detroit Funk and Soul)
Ike Turner, Black Man's Soul
Chairmen of the Board, Skin I'm In.

There's another album on that Skin I'm In one, but it isn't very good. Skin I'm In, from the liner notes, the band hated. Too bad it's awesome.
The Seattle comp blows, aside from a funked up Auld Lang Syne. Which is kinda retarded. Oh, I guess there are a couple of the female singer tracks on there where they tear it up, but I'm just not a huge afficianado of instrumental funk. Which is why even though the Ike Turner album is really good, it's not really my bag. The three tracks with Tina Turner on 'em are really great though. I had forgotten how awesome she was.

At Out of the Past:
Grand Master Melle Mel and the Furious FiveL s/t
Odetta, I Been Down.

The Melle Mel album is Ok. It was kinda neat to find it sealed, but the version of White Lines is pretty crappy. However, World War III and We Don't Work for Free are pretty cool. Still haven't listened to the Odetta album. I think I like her more in the winter.

MICHAEL JACKSON TRIAL NEWS!

Oh my GOD! NOT GUILTY.

(Heh. Once again, Canada is like America's friend who stopped drinking, went to a state school, and has health insurance. Way to not care, guys!)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Stands

The Stands- All Years Leaving (Echo Recordings UK, 2004)
The-stands.com

The warm and keening voice, it’s between Lucinda Williams and Neil Young, and sounds so comfortable in the female register above those darling harmonies and jangling Byrds acoustics, I wouldn’t believe you if you told me it was a man.
But there, in the liner notes, is the name Howie Payne, and the photograph on the inside certainly looks like a man. Ah well. So it goes.
His voice certainly is the first thing that you would notice, with its laconic pacing and easy California virtues. Sure, Payne may be from the UK, but his voice isn’t.
And neither is the band, you know, aside from that geography that tethers them (and makes us unlikely to ever see ‘em here in the States— how I got sent this album, I’ll never know). The arrangements are too warm and tightly layered, with the acoustic guitars left to reverberate over an unobtrusive rhythm section. The deft arrangements, dappled with snippets of tinkling bells or brisk banjos, give mid-tempo songs depth and all the hooks they write or steal are good ones.
When the Stands are at their best, they’re riding that beautiful fullness of California country pop, comfortable as sandals, like on the title track or album opener “I’ve Waited So Long.” Equally comfortable sounding like the Arcade Fire on “All Years Leaving” as they are sounding like Paisley Underground band Optic Nerve on “When This River Rolls Over You,” the Stands don’t necessarily have to stand out to sound good.
Occasionally, they try to get too much out of a mid-tempo drag and end up making songs like “It’s Only Everything” into Joan Osborne-style slogs, but those are the exceptions, and only really serve to emphasize that the band is more fun to listen to when they don’t bother being ponderous.
Still, All Years Leaving is mellow and pretty, like a sunrise on Vicodin. Radiant, warm and woozy, and a good way to start the day.
(Bonus mp3=The Love You Give)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ok.

Here's what we got so far:
An idea [Let's have a rock fest]

What do we need?
[Place]
[Time]
[Bands]
[Budget]

What do we got?
[Elbel would be a great place to do it.
-Needs:U-M approval. Affects date; budget.
-Good Side: Great location. No neighbors who complain. Easy access. Big. Good thing for campus area businesses.
-Bad Side: Likely to be more expensive and more of a hassle.]
[New Broadway park would be an OK place to do it.
-Needs: City approval. Affects date/Budget.
-Good Side: Few neighbors. New park smell. Good thing for Lower Town businesses. Less likely to have red tape.
-Bad Side: Harder to get to. Smaller. Don't even know the name of park. Parking?]
['CBN informal support]
[A coupla bloggers.]

Monday, April 18, 2005

Aw, ma, it ain't stealin'

...because he gives it away for free, baby. For free. Mmhm.

Get lo-fi autuer Animal (né Aaron Nemec)'s album Sawn Creator here.
It comes with artwork, you crafty bitches! Artwork! That you can print out and give to your mother!
You can also get a lot of his other songs here, at the Executive Bird download page. It's worth a listen.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Eager for Beaver?

Uh oh. There's trouble in Evil Beaver land.
A Chicago band, Evil Beaver were two women who played cock rock in the first degree. Cock rock so cok rockinest, in fact, that it must be called "cock raaaawk."
But now one of them, "Evil Evie," has grabbed the band name, hired two other drummers, and disavowed all mentions of Laura Ann Beaver (Laura Ann Masulo) on her "official" Evil Beaver website.
Woo! Hilarious drama ensues!
See, having seen them twice (both with Laura Ann), the hilarious part of this is that they're really not worth this level of drama. I mean, I can see going to one of their shows. They put on a decent cockrockery, but this is like hearing that one of one of the Heart sisters is going out on her own, or maybe that Stephen Pearcy is performing as RATT with new backing folks. I can understand wanting to get your merch back, but really, is Evil Beaver worth the hassle?
I mean, Christ, at what point do two women become mature enough to not fight over a band name like Malevolent Vagina?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

...do you think it's serious?

Brief cassette mix for Terri Schaivo:

Girlfriend in a Coma- The Smiths
No Fun- The Stooges
One-Sided Love Affair- Elvis Presley
It'd be Nice (To Have you Around)- The Sights
How to Disappear Completely- Radiohead
Surgeon's Girl- Wire
Unconsciously Screaming- Flaming Lips
Don't Worry About the Government- Talking Heads
Ventilator Blues- Rolling Stones
The Body says No- New Pornographers
Show me Your Heart- Need New Body
Disconnect the Dots- Of Montreal
To Hell With Good Intentions- McLusky
Suicide is Painless- M*A*S*H theme

Any other sugestions?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Monkeyfilter mix pt 2!

"Even the Pretty Snow can Kill" by MDS35. Same criteria as below. (Title- Artist)

Any day Now- Elbow [Droning, meloncholy... T:3 A:3 C:1]
Johnny Cash- Sons and Daughters [Here we go. This one's up and boozy! Maybe Scottish... T:2 A:4 C:-2]
Ringing in my Ear- Adem [Soft and acousticy... I'm not a huge fan of this style of singer/songwriter stuff, and it doesn't follow the previous song well... T:2 A:2 C:2]
One More Time- French Kicks [Good, new wave-y. Scottish? Nope, from DC. T:3 A:3 C:1]
The shy Retirer- Arab Strap [No, wait. These guys are Scottish. I'm sure. T:3 A:2 C:1]
Real Shocks- The Soft Pink Truth [More post-new-wave? Are they... Scots? -nope. French.- Disco beat and acoustics... T:3 A:2 C:1]
Still see You- Secret Machines [Midtempo that switches up about halfway through. The second half is better. T:4 A:3 C:0]
Class Action Suit Against Earth- Man'sbestfriend [Glitch-hop. Decent. And a good pallette-cleanser. T:4 A:3 C:-2]
Melody of a Fallen Tree- Windsor for the Derby [Bouncy, MOR pop. I keep waiting for a big chorus, and it's not there... T:3 A:3 C:1]
List of Demands- Saul Williams [Goddamnit. This song reminds me of another song, some industrial tune, and I can't fucking come up with it. Arrrgh! Anyway, decent track. T:3 A:4 C:-1]
Untitled #1- I am Kloot [For some reason, tracks like this just don't grab me. Too pastoral, I suppose. T:2 A:2 C:1]
Don't Think- Lali Puna [This reminds me of Blechtum from Blechdum. Oh, and Hypnotiq liquor. But it needs a hook! T:3 A:3 C:1]
To the Expert eye Alone- pulseprogramming [This sounds like Black Moth Super Rainbow, only played from under a sheet. T:4 A:3 C:1]
The Girl's Distracted- Saturday Looks Good to Me [This is probably my least favorite SLGTM song. But I'm crotchety. I liked 'em better when they were dubby. T:2 A:2 C:2]
Bad Times- Lubricated Goat [Doesn't really fit, to my ear. T:1 A:3 C:-1]
Up all Night- The Double [Unreleased track from someone I've never heard? Extra T points then. T:4 A:2 C:-2]
Flying Dream 143- Elbow [Another song from them? T:1 A:2 C:1]
The Same Deep Water as Me- I am Kloot [Another song from them? It skips something fierce on my copy too... T:1 A:2 C:1]

The totals: T: 48 (avg 2.6) + 3 iTunes Bonus+5 packaging for 56 out of 90=62%. A: 48 (Avg. 2.66) out of 90 for 53%. C:6 (Avg .333) out of 90= 6%.

Recommendations: You'll like Gallon Drunk based on the Sons and Daughters track. You'd probably also like Crime and the City Solution and Scanner. Oh, and Sea and Cake. You'd probably like them too. But from this mix, I would have liked a little MORE cheese. This title seemed all too apt, like I was slowly dying in a space that I could just barely make out any details.

Monkeyfilter mixes!

I told the people in my Monkeyfilter mix group that I'd post my thoughts on their mixes onto my blog. So here we go.
Keep in mind that I am a cruel mix mistress. I believe in rules, hard and mean rules, that may only be broken in certain instances. I will award points and capriciously take them away.
But... I'm also not really taking this as seriously as that might seem. I'm not going out of my way to be a dick, just, you know, critiquing things honestly. And honestly, a couple of these mixes I probably won't listen to again (after I rip the couple songs off of them that I want). That doesn't make the mixer a bad person, it just means that we have different tastes.
However, back to the cruel part: Mixes will be rated in the order recieved. Technical points will be given for exemplary flow, for variety (extra points for crossing genres� and no, electronica is not separate from indie rock) and for working in minor leaguers (non-major label bands that I haven't heard. Entirely subjective) and packaging. Technical points will be deducted for poor transitions, using more than one song by the same artist or using more than one song off the same album. A bonus may be earned by having your mix already in iTunes, so I don't have to do the tagging myself.
Artistic points will be given for good songs, especially songs that I haven't heard before. Points will be deducted for songs that I don't find interesting. This is subjective.
The final metric will be "cheese." Points will be earned by putting on "intellectual" or "pretentious" songs, and will be deducted for "cheese." THE GOAL OF THIS CATEGORY IS TO SCORE ZERO BY PROPERLY BALANCING CHEESE WITH "CRED." (That's why you put your smart songs on there, paco, so that you can spend your cred on that cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart").
Afterwards, I'll make recommendations for albums or artists that weren't on the mix that I think the maker would enjoy. Hopefully these will be albums that they will then buy and love, thus vindicating my tastes.
Oh, yeah, and they're all gonna be 1-5. Just so you know the scale.

First Mix:
Mofilalala by Mandyman
The Man in Me- Bob Dylan [Lots of lalalas. I believe this to be the theme. T:3 A:2 C:2]
Roller Derby Queen- Jim Croce [Do all his songs sound like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown"? Yes, they do. T:3 A:2 C:3]
Family Affair 1973- Mother Father Sister Brother [Instrumental funk. T:3 A:3 C:2]
Carnaval Batucada- Brasil 66 [Decent song, a bit overlong though. Gets cheesy near end. T: 3 A:2 C:3]
Tudo que Voce Podia Ser- Quarteto Em Cy [Ah, Brazilian pop. T:4 A:4 C:4]
Casa Nova- Mia Dio Todd [After the fun of the foriegn language, this is a bit of a let down. And still cheesy. T:3 A:2 C:3]
Norwegian Wood- Brasil 66 [OMG Cheese! Heh. I would have gone with just this one or the other one from Brasil 66. T:1 A:3 C:4]
Sao Paolo- Chic [I know it goes with the Brazillian thing goin', but this is elevator music... T:3 A:1 C:5]
Rainy day Man- Bonnie Rait [Ah, some easy country... T:3 A:2 C:3]
Use Me- Bill Withers [Awesome funk/soul. I need to buy some Bill Withers if it's all like this. Listen to that squared-ff organ! T:2 A:4 C:-1]
I Need a Gun- Damon Albarn [Another good track. Points! T:3 A:4 C:-1]
Crazy on You- Heart [Cheese, but good cheese. You saved me from having to download this track. T:2 A:3 C:4]
Liar Liar- Debbie Harry [A cover of an ol' Nuggets track. OK, but I kinda like the ripping riff of the original. T:2 A:2 C:3]
You're Lying- Linx [More cheese disco. Would be fun on its own, but with the mix, it's just a little much for me. T:3 A:2 C:3]
Confusion- Electric Light Orchestra [Heh. Jesus, I think this is the cheesiest song EVAH! That calliope! Those chimes! T:3 A:3 C:5]
I Want to Hold Your Hand- Al Green [Erm. Ok, but you've already got a Beatles cover on there... T:2 A:2 C:3]
I Don't Know What I can Save you From- Kings of Convience [When it started out, I was thinking 'Cool, glitchy.' Then it brought in that cheesy guitar... Song just didn't grab me at all. Sounds like Primative Radio Gods. T:2 A:1 C:3]
All his Exes- Sylvie Lewis [Sounds like 'Que Cera Cera.' Ok. T:3 A:3 C:3]
California Dreaming- Jose Feliciano [Another cover... I really like the original, but this seemed kinda blah... T:2 A:2 C:3]

The totals! T: 44 (Avg. 2.3)+5[iTunes bonus]+3[packaging]=52 out of 95 (.54), A:47 (Avg. 2.4) out of 95=.49, C:80 (Avg 4.2) out of 95=84.5% cheese.

For me, it's the cheese factor that is the dominant attribute of this mix. Bands that I would recommend: Tim Monger. Monger's an orchestral pop singer with a great falsetto. You'll love the hell out of his album Summer Cherry Ghosts. Traffic: You probably already own some, but if you don't, do yourself a favor and go buy The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. T.Rex: Same thing as Traffic; you probably already own some. If not, I recommend Electric Warrior. You'd probably also enjoy the samba compilations put out by F�nkstorung. They have VWs on the cover, if that helps. And check out Fae Wong, who does another excellent version of "California Dreamin'" on the soundtrack to Chunking Express (it's also on her solo stuff). You'll dig her!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's like... without the Kevin Bacon.

Short chains are easy. Anyone can connect Big Brother and the Holding Company with Derrick and the Dominos (7 steps is the best I can do, though). But to get the longest chain? So far it's Bonzo Dog Band to Burzum in 18 steps.
Try your luck with the Band-to-band.com connector.
Reportedly, there's a 37-link chain in there somewhere...

Hurra Torpedo!

Hey, I'm mirroring the Hurra Torpedo "Total Eclipse of the Heart" video for the next couple days. It's a 25mb Quicktime file (.mov)

That means that the last 25mb EP I put up is now dead. Shoulda got 'em while you could, folks.
(Oh yeah, I got it from here).

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The face of Kitsch to come

Classic, Modern, and futuristic.

There's a thread of irony that goes through the presentation of these three (as, arguably, the guys doing Apache didn't know they'd look retarded in 25 years), but they're also good music (at least the last two).
For all of these, what I mean by irony is the simultaneous position of attracting and deriding each work: The Apache video is fun because it's goofy and over-the-top, but if there was no resonant chord of nostolgia for that time, there'd be no reason to notice it. Similarly, the "Dragostea Din Tei" video (the second one), lets us both enjoy being that goon who sings along with infectious pop and ridicule that part of ourselves. And the third one, "Galanga-alanga-alang-a" by Tamil/Brit artist M.I.A. has both the love of the '80s aesthetic and a conscious reappropriation within it.
It's future-kitsch, something that will be remembered tomorrow not for the references it makes to the past but for being part of the past, inspererable from the currents that produced it. If someone in 2050 sees this, they won't be able to differentiate the '80s from the aughts, but will see it all as a melange, and it will remind them not of the '80s nostolgia but of a similacrum of '80s nostolgia.
It's also goddamn catchy. This is the future of kitsch.
(EDIT: Thanks Brandon. Apparently, Kitsch is spelled with an "s" in there. As a guy who took German for too long, you'd think I'd remember things like that. If I weren't, you know, retarded.)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Da, da, da

Never let it be said that Russian music is limited to DJ Vadim and the Leningrad Cowboys (who are really from Sweden anyway).
Here's a cool blog full of all of that New Kids on the Bloc and Jon Bon Jovski Soviet music that we unknowingly promoted with our MTV and our Coca-Cola.
Ex-Soviet.blogspot.com

Monday, February 28, 2005

Here again!

Since I only have a limited amount of disc space, I keep shuffling what's availible. But what about all you folks who missed that great Isaac Schankler piece? Well, after noting the link, he posted the tune here.
He's now posting an mp3 a day here.
Go there and bug him about writing more great pop tunes. Otherwise, he'll be stuck in that New Works Classical ghetto forever!

You know you want it!

Another 25mb Internet EP comin' atcha!
(For Monkeyfilter folks coming here, this will include none of the songs that you will get on your mix discs, though it will include some of the artists).

A few years ago, I got a promo in the mail from a band called The Escorts. They were an obscure '70s soul group, whose gimmick was that they were all in prison when the songs were recorded. I assume that they only recorded the vocals in prison (the only note is that the recordings were done in the psych ward because it was soundproofed, but I doubt that they could get a full brass and string section in there to do the takes live).
Most of the album is treacly crap, but they have a few harder songs in there that rescue the album. The most poignant of these is the apologetic All We Need is Another Chance.

I bought a compilation at a record store that has now gone under, and on it there was this fantastic, dark rock and roll track called Ruby by the band Gallon Drunk. It was apparently recorded live, and the only other place I've ever found it was a Ryko reissue of their singles (Tonight... The Singles Bar. This was recorded in 1990, but sounds like part and parcel of a lot of the Garage Rock revivals that we had in the last couple of years.

Another track that I found on a compilation (this time, offered with the magazine Select), When the Kingdom Comes, by Primal Scream. They claim that it was unreleased up until then, and it led to me to pick up Primal Scream's album Xtrm8r, as "When the Kingdom Comes" was so good. Too bad Xtrm8r kinda blows, with two or three really great songs and a buncha crap. Apparently, Kevin Shields produced this one, so enjoy it.

As I'm mining comps here, I might as well toss on Goin' Down a One-Way Street by Little Ann, off of the excellent Ladies of Detroit vol. 1 comp. There's a bit of Little Ann's life here. After a little websearching, I found out that the label that put these out (Marginal-Bar) has disappeared and the owner killed himself. Hmm. Guess I won't be able to order the rest of the series... (Any info, please mail rock @ sgipub.com, as I'd love to get more...)

Ok, last track: African Lipstick by the Demolition Doll Rods. A Detroit band, this one is from the Bulb Records singles comp, vol. 2. Go and buy it if you like this track, as there's always more than enough to delight on any Bulb comp.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

What I've learned from Audioscrobbler

I enjoy Audioscrobbler, honestly I do. It hasn't really helped me find any bands (but it did help me find out that the Spectral Light... folks had a full album out, through a helpful comment), but it's neat to see what other people are listening to.
In my world, it becomes like a Music Nazi version of MTV's RoomRaiders, in which a bevy of selections can tell me more about you, as a person, than knowing what your bedroom looks like.
That being said, I realize there are serious defects in the system. Like, by basing rankings on the number of songs played, jazz and krautrock get short shrift; there are only two songs on each disc of Bitches Brew and Kraftwerk's Concert Classics only has four, despite being well over an hour long. Bands with more songs per hour necessarily rank higher in profiles (making it hard to find interesting jazz and krautrock without trawling profiles).

But that's not as much fun as just being judgemental about people's musical taste. That's the genius of Audioscrobbler: it works both ways. You can dismiss people as douchbags by what bands they like, and you can take known douchebags and see what they enjoy, and are thus able to dismiss it in the future. It's a beautiful thing.

Take, for example, The Vegetarians, who listen to, say, The Smiths in disproportionate numbers. Has nothing to do with the Meat Is Murder album, right? What else do they listen to (besides the obvious Morrissey)? Well, lots of sissy shit, like you might expect. Radiohead, Elliot Smith, The Cure. Bunch of pantywaists, all slowly rocking from side to side with their mewling mascara-wearing momma's boys (and girls).

Or that the Porn group listens almost exclusively to mainstream metal. Once one has developed a taste for big hair, it pervades every aspect of life.

The Family Guy? More shitty metal, showing that people who appreciate that show enjoy the speed and bombast more than good material (fuckin' Korn? That explains a lot, really.)

But the best are The Furries. The top artists? Less Than Jake, followed by Green Day, Nirvana and 3 Doors Down. What does this tell us about Furries? Well, aside from liking to hump stuffed animals, it tells us that most of them came of age during the early '90s, and haven't let go. Also, that they prize watered-down versions of groundbreaking genres like punk and ska.
To extrapolate, this can be linked with their sexual lives: Instead of going out and really fucking animals, like they'd all love to do, they cop out and fuck people in animal costumes. If, instead, they listed Desmond Dekker, The Buzzcocks and The Pixies, they'd finally have the courage to do some pet damage.
C'mon, Furries, buck up and fuck that horse.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

On the 25

Announcing: The First Ever Honest Engine 25mb EP!

You see, I wanted to have one of those fancy MP3 blogs all the kids are talking about, but I don't have enough room on my state-mandated server.

So what do I do? I put up brief EPs for a limited time, then take them down in two weeks or so. Maybe someday, I'll have enough cash to buy real web hosting.

Now, know that the reason why I'm doing this is because I love the music that I'm putting up. All of it is mine, either purchased or sent to me as promos, and I've ripped the mp3s because I think more people should hear it. I'm not going to be putting up a bunch of major label (or even major indie) songs, because you've probably already heard them. Even if I thought about dropping some Mekons in there.
Besides, those folks have plenty of bandwidth. Go get some songs from them dircetly.

But, just as a note, if any of the bands I feature ever get surly and want off, that's not a problem. Just lemme know.

And now, onto the first ever 52mb EP: Move quickly, because they won't last.

Dabenport's loping grace and sparse beauty come through on Finds You Well. It's off of their self-titled debut, now reissued on Fall Theory records (who have an incredibly shitty over-Flashed site, otherwise I would have linked directly). It's the type of country music you play when you're stepping through an airport terminal, wanting to be in two places at once.

I bought a copy of Dream Magazine while I was in Atlanta about three years ago now. I was doing a MasterCard Priceless Edge internship (I couldn't find a good link), and felt like I was the only one with decent taste in music. But with this magazine came a CD, full of good and weird and fun music (like Magical Power Mako and Mandible Chatter), and one of those tracks was the Spectral Light And Moonshine Firefly Snakeoil Jamboree's Chilly Winds. I haven't been able to find anything about them before or after, but it's a great song and one I hope leads to me finding more about them.

The Rants, who have retreated to the barren lands of Detroit (where they seem to be able to gig al the time, as opposed to the once a month Ann Arbor/Ypsi circuit) used to be one of this town's best bands. Then they had a personelle split (on one side: "It's hard when you want to play, and all he wants to do is take drugs." On the other: "I wanted to live a little, and he just kept getting more uptight.") where both parties are now happier, but their music isn't as consistently good (though it is, in fact, still good). Hell or High Water was one of their best songs off of the album "Get Back Into It," which seems to be out of print for all time now.

Stylex is part of the grand tradition of Ohio bands that sound like Devo. No, wait, that's not fair. They sound like Devo and Braniac. Pretty much. Well, y'know how "electroclash" got all popular there for a minute, what with Danse Macabre and The Faint and Adult. and all the other queers with asymetrical hair and jerky, unsmiling dance moves? Stylex was a bit ahead of the curve, but because they're from Ohio, it didn't count. Sea Of Numbers is one of my favorite songs, off of their album Wonder Program. You can apparently buy it through their website, but they don't allow for direct linking (only to the main page) so they'll have to deal with you when you go there.

The last track on this bi-weekly EP hasn't even been released, honestly. It comes from the Livejournal of a guy named Isaac Schankler. He desires to be a great classical (or whateverthefuck composed music is called these days) composer, but he's actually a great pop song writer. Kind of like Irving Berlin, if everything you knew about Irving Berlin were wrong. He also plays in the klezmer band Into The Freylakh, but this isn't a Klezmer song. It's more Gary Neuman in awesomeville. Dig it: The Distance of the Moon.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Keep me honest

You can see what I listen to over time by going to my Audioscrobbler page. I feel vaguely odd about taking part in things like this, mostly because Friendster turned out to be interesting at first, and a giant turd by about now, so I'm never sure that participating is worth the effort. Luckily, participating takes about zero effort.

2005: The Future

I love music and hate year end lists.
One, ranking things left and right isn't really how I listen (though it doesn't stop me from getting pissed off about other people's relative rankings). But I just can't come up with them myself, because I don't tend to evaluate music on the same criteria. The only real way that I think is valid to judge an album is whether that album holds up, if that one hit stays true, if I still enjoy listening to it year after year.
But that's hardly conducive for "What was the best thing in these last five minutes?"
Two, I don't have a good mind for remembering release dates. I can put an album in context, like that Interpol fits in well with the 80s youth being old enough to have influential bands, or that LL Cool J changed rap production with his "Radio" album. But ask me when they came out? Well, without the internet, I'm not really able to say. That's not information that sticks with me. It might be great to know that Hershey Bars are made in Pennsylvania, but that tells me nothing about how they taste (though the best candy bar of '04 was still the Dark Chocolate KitKats I bought at a dollar store).
Three, I don't have a perfect record collection. I doubt such a thing exists, at least to my tastes. And since there are millions of titles that have been released up until now, I tend to spend a lot of time finding things that are new to me and not to the rest of the world. So, y'know, I would call Archie Shepp's "The Way Ahead" the best album I've heard this year, but that breaks one of those rules that you're supposed to follow for lists. It's just that I only heard it this year, and I really like it. It has brilliant syncopated percussion, hard (fortissimo!) chords and big horns, over which Shepp can be soothing or soaring or scathing and seething. It's great. But with no date set for exclusion, it kinda negates the idea of the End of the Year Wrap-Up.
So, I skim the lists that come out every year, checking off against others for things that I have heard and consider crap (Joanna Newscome) and things that I have heard that I really like (Mad Villain).
From time to time, I'll be posting here about things that I like, or that I don't like, that I've been listening to. I'm going to try to make it criticism, and not snarking, and I'd like to hear from people about what they like.
Cheers, and into the future.