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'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.


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.