Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Shittiest Shit Ever Shat, vol. 5: Almost Hades



Need I say anything? I think the picture up there says it all.

Of course I do. You can't really call this an 80's song anymore, as you're forced to listen to it whenever your roommate or lover or mom insists on watching Fame for Farmers, excuse me, I mean Footloose, on cable. Again. Isn't two decades of Footloose enough? Do we really need to see Kevin Bacon dancing in a barn again? I know, I know, if you don't like it, don't turn it on. But I swear, it seems to just come on all by itself.

Here's the obligatory power ballad from the movie, by Mike Reno (Loverboy) and Ann Wilson (Heart), which you will listen to because you don't remember exactly how bad it is:

Mike Reno & Ann Wilson - Almost Hades, I mean Paradise (1984 - Footloose OST)

It seems like perfect love's so hard to find
I'd almost given up
You must have read my mind

And all these dreams I saved for a rainy day
They're finally comin' true
I'll share them all with you

Mp3s From The Subways


The Subways' Charlotte Cooper

The Subways are young and dumb, but maybe that's just what you're hungry for. Lead vocalist Billy Lunn says that they sound like a cross between Kylie Minogue and Nirvana. Say that again?? That's like saying they're a mixture of oil and water. Now, if you take a container and shake oil and water together hard enough, it will appear to mix, if only for an instant. The Subways shake it hard enough. To me, they sound more like the Von Bondies, but double the adrenaline and attitude. People are saying they're the next big thing, which is often a harbinger of fizzle. But so effing what. In City Pavement, they sing "I think rock and roll is gonna save us." Let us hope so.

The Subways mp3s:

City Pavement
No Heart, No Soul
1 AM

E-mail mike at Take Your Medicine for a link to more.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Personal Ad of the Week - Farting Wasabi Snorter Seeks...

From the Washington City Paper. I never need to look further.

UKexile

Essay: (excerpts)

My favorite physical activity is: Breathing.... and farting but I like to do it when I'm on my own.

If I could change one thing about DC, it would be: Definately the D, I'd leave the C alone, how about exchanging the D for kleptocras

The last concert I went to was: The Nepalese National Nasal-flute Orchestra.

The last great movie I saw was: Shaving Ryan's Privates.

What reading material can be found in your bathroom? Floozies With Uzi's, Nuns With Guns, Mullets & Bullets GOP'S-with Toupee's!, The NRA TODAY!!, The Compassionate Killer Quarterly, Pro-life-Weekly, etc.

My favorite way to kill my brain cells is: Snorting wasabi. Yeah!

I wouldn't sell get real!! I'd sell your granny, your cat , your Duran Duran collection, gold plated vibrator, anything and everything for a billion dollars.

The quickest way to my heart is intravenous

I consider myself an open-minded person, but my deal breakers are humorless stinkfoots and chicks with dicks

Friday Live, Vol. 1

Recently, the keoki suggested that we start doing a covers day, where we post a cover song and the original. It's a great idea. I thought I'd modify it a little bit, because I also had an idea to post live songs every Friday, sort of a "mini-concert" and calling it Friday Live. So Friday Live shall be a collection of five live songs, including at least one live cover.

Sonic Youth - I Know There's An Answer (Beach Boys cover - 1993)

Sonic Youth - I Don't Want to Walk Around With You (Ramones Cover - Chicago, 1987)

REM - White Tornado (Live in Studio)

Arcade Fire - Born on a Train (Magnetic Fields over)

Beck - Do You Realize (KCRW 2002 solo Flaming Lips cover)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Plane mp3s from Hello More



Popmatters says
After a quick, atmospheric intro, "Western Avenue" takes its place as a fantastic, multi-layered slow burn, and "Heart and Soul" contains the best set of xylophone-sounding synth lines since "Hey Ya".


Splendid Magazine says Plane's Hello More
is equal parts catchy, heartbreaking and confounding. For every explosion of brilliant songwriting and dizzying production, with guitars dancing from left speaker to right speaker and video game noises and samples popping in and out of the mix, there is a thirty second song that was recorded on an answering machine. Yes, that's true. It's maddening and it might just be a masterpiece..."Western Avenue" and "Heart & Soul" open the disc with a vicious one-two punch; each song is sad, yet danceable.


According to Popmatters, the album peters out after the first several tracks. Splendid says that of the ten tracks, only four reach any kind of traditional musical conclusion.

It's a difficult, and yes, maddening listen, and it doesn't really hold together as an album. But wow, those four (five for me) tracks are stunners. You'll pop this CD in your player often, and then take it out after your favorite fifteen minutes. As a 5-song EP, Hello More would have been brilliant.

Plane mp3s from Hello More
Western Avenue
Heart and Soul

Music Tag with mp3s

RC666 tagged me with a music game, and since this is mostly a music blog, fair play. My answers will contain mp3s.


Q: How many songs do you have on your computer?

A: I have no idea. I have 20.8 GB on my computer at work, and 19.5 GB here on the home PC. I try to hover around 20. Any more than that is excessive.


Q: What song are you listening to right now?

A: Surrounded By Skanks (mp3), by Thunderbirds Are Now!, from the Necks EP.


Q: What was the last CD you bought?

A: I picked up the Belle & Sebastian EP collection, Push Barman to Open Old Wounds, and the Motown Remixed CD, yesterday. I also got Plane's Hello More from eMusic, if that counts.


Q: Name five songs that mean something to you.

A: I've been asked this before. I suspect that for most people, the songs that mean something to them might not be their favorite songs; rather, they're tunes that remind them of important places, people, or events in their lives. I'm not going to choose my songs that way - nothing that reminds me of a prom dance or a long goodbye - these are fairly recent songs that I can't listen to without feeling that jolt to the heart.


1. In a Little While - U2.

I always thought this was a nice little song, but it didn't really mean much to me until Bono explained how he intended it to be a simple song about coming home with a wicked hangover, but the meaning of the song changed when he learned that it was the last song Joey Ramone listened to before he died, and that Joey found more meaning in it than Bono intended. According to bpfallon.com, "His mum Charlotte said he was listening to U2's In A Little While in his room at New York Presbyterian Hospital when he died. 'Just as the song finished, Joey finished,' Charlotte said. He was 49."

Now I can't listen to it without getting chills. Listen to it again with Joey in mind. Bono explains it in the intro to this live version, from a Boston concert on the Elevation Tour: U2 - In a Little While (Elevation Tour - Boston) (mp3) And related to that, a Ramones song that hits me, covered here by u2: I Remember You (Live U2 Cover) (mp3)

In a little while, surely you'll be mine
In a little while, I'll be there
In a little while, this hurt will hurt no more
I'll be home, love

When the night takes a deep breath
And the daylight has no air
If I crawl, if I come crawling home
Will you be there?...

Slow down, my beating heart
A man dreams one day to fly
A man takes a rocket ship into the skies
He lives on a star that's dying in the night
And follows in the trail of the scatter of light



2. Season of the Shark - Yo La Tengo, from Summer Sun

This is a song of reassurance for someone who can't seem to find happiness, who is stuck in a state of worry and paranoia. You want to help, and are frustrated that you can't pull your friend out of troubled waters. The lyrics are here.

Yo La Tengo - Season of the Shark (mp3)


3. Nightswimming - REM

To me, this one is about the slow dying of one's youth, and remembrance of young love and vitality (It’s not like years ago/The fear of getting caught/Of recklessness and water/They cannot see me naked/These things, they go away/Replaced by everyday), but the memories are blurred: The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago/Turned around backwards so the windshield shows/Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse/Still, it’s so much clearer. The video, with its long introductory scenes with teens at a lake campfire, is one of the most beautiful and poignant ever made. Here's a live version of Nightswimming(mp3).


4. Daniel Johnston - The Sun Shines Down On Me, from Don't Be Scared (1992)
I could have listed a handful of Daniel Johnston songs here. He sounds awful, his instruments are out of tune, and he seems rhythm deficient. But you feel the weight of every word.

The Sun Shines Down On Me:
Daniel Johnston original (mp3)
Guster cover (2004) (mp3)

I'm getting closer to the fact
I've turned my back on silly things
I'm walking down that lonely road
And my heavy load ..I didn't bother to bring it

And the sun shines down on me
I feel like I deserve it
The sun shines down...

I'm walking down that empty road
But it ain't empty now ..because I'm on it
I'm getting closer to a hope
That I can carry and take home with me

The sun shines down on me
I feel like I have to earn it
The sun shines down



5. Beck - Lost Cause

It's no secret that I'm a big Beck fan, and this song is one of my favorites. I don't need to say much about it, I'm sure. You've heard it a zilliont times, and it's fresh in your memory. Besides, it's getting late and I'm tired. Here's a live solo acoustic version from Leno (mp3).


There's so much more that I could have put on this list, but the ones I included are songs that I listen to regularly these days.

So there it is. Now I need to figure out who to tag...I'll go with Mike at Take Your Medicine.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Belle & Sebastian mp3s - The State I Am In (EP version) & A Century of Fakers

"I am thrilled that Belle & Sebastian have decided to collect all the tracks from their EPs onto a single-volume, double-disc collection. Really, I am. Because I didn't really need to feel special for having gone to the trouble and expense of collecting all the individual EPs over the years... Ah well, I suppose it makes sense. Some of the bands very best songs - "Lazy Line Painter Jane", I'm looking in your direction - appear on these EPs. Push Barman To Open Old Wounds will be out on May 24."


- from Chromewaves' May 22 post

frank doesn't feel special, but if you, like me, don't have all of their EPs, you can feel special by picking up the double disc collection for less then 15 bucks.

Mp3s from Belle & Sebastian's Push Barman to Open Old Wounds, released yesterday:

The State That I Am In (EP version)
A Century of Fakers (from 3..6..9 Seconds of Light)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Shittiest Shit Ever Shat, volume 4


It's like being lost in heaven. And then you play the song.

It's new release day, and you're excited about your new music. You thought you were going to get through the day without listening to a bad song.

You were wrong.

Wrong, because it's Shittiest Shit day, and boy have we got a steaming turd for you. I downloaded this and wondered for a moment if I might have liked it for a moment, you know, as a guilty pleasure. I mean, Debbie Gibson is such a sweetheart, and how cute was she in that polka-dot skirt and loop earrings in the Only in My Dreams video.

Then I played the song, and in my disgust, was comforted to absolutely know that there is absolutely no way that I ever liked this.

Here are some of the lyrics. They're several degrees of magnitude crappier than a Hallmark card poem:

I get lost, in your eyes
And I feel my spirits rise
And soar like the wind
Is it love that I am in?
I get weak in a glance
Isn't this what's called romance?
And that's what I know
Cause when I'm lost
I can't let go.


So here ya go:
Debbie Gibson - Lost in Your Eyes (mp3) (From the triple platinum Electric Youth, 1989)

You know you're strangely compelled to download and listen. Go on ahead. Nobody's watching.

Edwin Starr - War (King Britt Mix) mp3


Yusef Komunyakaa

"You and I Are Disappearing"
- Bjöm Håkansson


The cry I bring down from the hills
belongs to a girl still burning
inside my head. At daybreak
she burns like a piece of paper.
She burns like foxfire
in a thigh-shaped valley.
A skirt of flames
dances around her
at dusk.
We stand with our hands
hanging at our sides,
while she burns
like a sack of dry ice.
She burns like oil on water.
She burns like a cattail torch
dipped in gasoline.
She glows like the fat tip
of a banker's cigar,
silent as quicksilver.
A tiger under a rainbow
at nightfall.
She burns like a shot glass of vodka.
She burns like a field of poppies
at the edge of a rain forest.
She rises like dragonsmoke
to my nostrils.
She burns like a burning bush
driven by a godawful wind.

-Yusef Komunyakaa, Dien Cai Dau, Hanover 1988, p. 17]


Edwin Starr

Edwin Starr - War (King Britt Mix) (mp3), from Motown Remixed, out today.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Nikka Costa Live on KCRW - Everybody Got Their Something (mp3) & Swing it Around (mp3)


Nikka Costa got her something

Did you hear the Nikka Costa live set on KCRW today? If not, you missed an inspired performance of Everybody Got Their Something, and a seriously funky version of Swing it Around.

I've got the mp3s for those here. You really need to hear them.

Nikka Costa, Live on KCRW, 5-23-2005 (mp3s):
Everybody Got Their Something
Swing it Around

Watch here.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Personal Ad of the Week


It's my birthday, and don't I love it.

The Washington City Paper. It's a goldmine if you're looking for that "special" someone. Here are excerpts from this week's Personal Ad of the Week:

The epitome of a man
Ladies this is the epitome of a man. 6'5 215 black male in the Wash DC metro area . An insecure and superficial woman need not reply. Not a little girl: a woman for the epitome of a man.

My favorite physical activity is: Playing basketball and then go work with the weights also jog.

If I could have a dinner party and invite any four people, dead or alive, the guest list would be: All family including ones incarcerated Biggie ,Tupac and Rick James??#%%? .

If I could change one thing about DC, it would be: TRAFFIC AND HYPROCRISY

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: HOW LONG iAM

The last concert I went to was: cAN'T REMEMBER

My hottest feature is: MY CHEST

nice body lights my fire and beingsuperficial burns the house down.

I wouldn't sell being who you are for a billion dollars.

I love my birthday.

If I get cat-called walking down the street I usually bigblac

My favorite place to get my morning cup a' joe is drink it

My favorite political news source is ebony

When a friend brings up a politics, I usually conservate

If I could be appointed to any political position, it would be liberial


So ladies, if you are looking to conservate with Epitome Longfellow at your local Drink It cafe, click on the link above. He won't be long getting back to you. Or maybe he will.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Smudge Responds to Anthony Lane's New Yorker Review of Star Wars III

If you are down for a good laugh, and if all things Star Wars is your Syrup of Ipecac, read Anthony Lane’s review of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. It’s doubtless going to be the review that all SW-haters point to as they turn their eyes from the countless good ones.

Anthony Lane’s review is hilarious. He clearly hates the series, and expresses it with glee. The problems with his review stem from this hate. His anger has clouded his judgment; he has gone over to the dark side of movie reviewing. No longer does he think with a logical mind, or even with an untinted eye.

Disagree? Here’s my case, point by point. And mind you, I hate to do this, because I generally dislike critiques of critiques.

Lane starts by taking issue with the sinister word “Sith:” “It sounds to me like the noise that emerges when you block one nostril and blow through the other.” Come on. It does have a wicked ring, and “Sidious” sounds just as evil, not much different than that dark class in Harry Potter, the “Slitherin,” which Lane also despised: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is, despite its trickery, that plainest and least surprising of artifacts; the work of art that is exactly the sum of its parts, neither more nor less.” He declares the naming of villains in his beloved Lord of the Rings trilogy superior: “Tolkien, earthed in Old English, had a head start that led him straight to the flinty perfection of Mordor and Orc. Here, by contrast, are some Lucas inventions: Palpatine. Sidious. Mace Windu. (Isn’t that something you spray on colicky babies?) Bail Organa. And Sith.” Hmmmm...that’s funny when you first read it, but when you stop and think about it, you realize that Palpatine is actually a decent name for a senator.

Would you vote for someone named “Dark Lord Sauron” or “Morgoth?”

And Bail Organa is Princess Leia Organa’s stepfather. You can’t name him “Bail Valiant” because then you’d have to explain why Leia would change her name to “Organa,” which no brave rebel would ever do.

Then you have this: “Anakin, too, is a divided figure, wrenched between his Jedi devotion to selfless duty and a lurking hunch that, if he bides his time and trashes his best friends, he may eventually get to wear a funky black mask and start breathing like a horse.” That’s funny ha-ha too, but it would be funnier if it were true. The “funny black mask” results from “trashing his best friend,” yes, but he turns to the dark side only to save his wife. He has visions of her death, but guess what? No visions of a black mask. Lane must have been having visions of these visions. Of course, Mr. Lane couldn’t tell us that it’s far-fetched for a man to abandon his friends out of love for his wife. It might have happened once or twice.

Next, there’s this: “What can you say about a civilization where people zip from one solar system to the next as if they were changing their socks but where a woman fails to register for an ultrasound, and thus to realize that she is carrying twins until she is about to give birth?” Hee-hee. True, so true. Or--hey, wait a minute! Nobody says that she doesn’t know she’s carrying twins! She tells Anakin, “I’m pregnant.” She doesn’t say, “with one baby boy whom I will name Luke.” No. And guess what else! If you didn’t know you were having twins, wouldn’t you be surprised when you did? Padme not only shows absolutely no surprise when she has the twins, she already has names ready for a girl and a boy. Maybe Lane wanted Padme to go round telling everyone, “Hey everybody, I’m having twins!” But she doesn’t have to, because it should be obvious to the unblind members of the audience that she knows.

Nobody ingests or excretes.” Lane would probably be happy if Yoda farted during a session of the Jedi Council. Come to think of it, I’d probably enjoy that, too. Lane must have overlooked General Grievous, who spends all of his scenes coughing and hacking, and he doesn’t even have lungs! Maybe Lane was too afraid of the General to keep his eyes on the screen during the Grievous scenes. He was big and scary, and I think that next to Jedi, his greatest bloodthirst would be for New Yorker readers.

Lane goes on: “Did Lucas learn nothing from “Alien” and “Blade Runner”—from the suggestion that other times and places might be no less rusted and septic than ours, and that the creation of a disinfected galaxy, where even the storm troopers wear bright-white outfits, looks not so much fantastical as dated...

Is he talking about "Revenge of the Sith?" Because all of the fighting ships and uniforms were stained, dented, scratched, and battered in some way. I challenge you to find a clean one. The original Star Wars movie has Stormtroopers in clean uniforms, but that was while they were on ships prior to battle.

Then he picks on Yoda: “At one point in the new film, he assumes the role of cosmic shrink—squatting opposite Anakin in a noirish room, where the light bleeds sideways through slatted blinds. Anakin keeps having problems with his dark side, in the way that you or I might suffer from tennis elbow, but Yoda, whose reptilian smugness we have been encouraged to mistake for wisdom, has the answer."

Now Lane has crossed the line. Call Luke “Gaywalker,” call lightsabers phallic symbols, whatever…

But Don’t. Fuck. With Yoda.

First of all, Yoda is not reptilian. God…just because he’s green, he must be reptilian? Stereotyper! He’s an alien mammalian. Witness the hair. Remember Biology 101? Clearly not. Also, Yoda is a Jedi master, which is sort of a cosmic shaolin monk, and in the scene Lane speaks of, the room is actually set up sort of like a serene dojo, if you look at it closely. As a Jedi Master, it’s his duty to teach his pupils the way of the Force, which should go without saying if you already saw “Empire.” That was a long time ago, though, and you can’t expect a SW hater to revisit that. He’s no more a shrink than Gandalf is to Frodo. But don’t pick on his beloved Lord of the Rings. He might cast magic missile.

The Yoda-bashing continues: "“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose,” he says. Hold on, Kermit, run that past me one more time. If you ever got laid (admittedly a long shot, unless we can dig you up some undiscerning alien hottie with a name like Jar Jar Gabor), and spawned a brood of Yodettes, are you saying that you’d leave them behind at the first sniff of danger?”"

So I loved the “Jar Jar Gabor,” and yes, funny, funny. But there’s the bad biology again. Any third grader knows that Kermit is an amphibian, not a reptile. Second, and we already covered this, Yoda is a Jedi master, which is essentially a monk, and even younglings know that Jedi are not allowed to hump or marry. So if one has a logical mind, one knows that Yoda is not telling Anakin to leave his wifey and kiddies, because as far as he’s concerned, there are none; it is verboten. But even if you want to assume that Yoda did know, would he advise Anakin to go ahead on over to the dark side, knowing that the good of the many would suffer under his imperial rule? Again, all of that follows only if you’re a logical thinker and not clouded with emotion.

And even more on Yoda: “Also, while we’re here, what’s with the screwy syntax? Deepest mind in the galaxy, apparently, and you still express yourself like a day-tripper with a dog-eared phrase book. “I hope right you are.” Break me a fucking give.

Okay, so annoy you that does, Mr. Lane. Spoke like that he did in "Empire," if you’d bother to watch it again. So if his English were correct for this movie, the only explanation for the syntax in “Empire” would be that he took years of Bad English classes, which they don’t have and can’t get in the Dagobah system, even via high-speed connection.

Many funny paragraphs, most of them wrong, wrong, wrong.

So if you’re looking for a good laugh, or just feel like Jedi-bashing, read Lane’s review.

But if you want to read a good, fair, factual one, try A.O. Scott’s in the NY Times, where these lines sum it all up perfectly:

To be sure, some of the shortcomings of "Phantom Menace" (1999) and "Attack of the Clones" (2002) are still in evidence, and Mr. Lucas's indifference to two fairly important aspects of moviemaking - acting and writing - is remarkable.

Anyway, nobody ever went to a "Star Wars" picture for the acting. Even as he has pushed back into the Jedi past, Mr. Lucas has been inventing the cinematic future, and the sheer beauty, energy and visual coherence of "Revenge of the Sith" is nothing short of breathtaking. The light-saber battles and flight sequences, from an initial Jedi assault on a separatist stronghold to a fierce duel in the chambers of the Senate, are executed with a swashbuckling flair that makes you forget what a daunting technical accomplishment they represent.

The integration of computer-generated imagery with captured reality (in other words, what we used to call movies) is seamless; Mr. Lucas has surpassed Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg in his exploitation of the new technology's aesthetic potential. [Anthony Lane is ready to fight now]


And the most important question:

Would George Lucas at last restore some of the old grandeur and excitement to his up-to-the-minute Industrial Light and Magic? Would my grown-up longing for a return to the wide-eyed enthusiasm of my own moviegoing boyhood - and my undiminished hunger for entertainment with sweep and power as well as noise and dazzle - be satisfied by "Revenge of the Sith"?

The answer is yeth.

This is by far the best film in the more recent trilogy, and also the best of the four episodes Mr. Lucas has directed. That's right (and my inner 11-year-old shudders as I type this): it's better than "Star Wars."


Of course, if you want to spit out your own opinion, you're going to have to fork out your offering to Lucas, Inc. and see the movie first.

Edison Rocket Train mp3s - Samson and Delilah & Train Song No. 35



This is big, unapologetic, in-your-face blues-rock for a drunken night of pool at the local dive. Be careful with it. This Mike Edison train might run you over. From Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!, released this week.

Edison Rocket Train mp3s:

Samson and Delilah
Train Song No. 35

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Little Stevie Wonder mp3s - I Call it Pretty Music but the Old People Call it the Blues & Little Water Boy (Demo Version)



Didn't that Stevie Wonder feel good yesterday? Nod. Nothing like a little dose of Stevie to add oomph to your day. I'll prove it with two more mp3s, this time from The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 2: 1962, which was released this week. According to the Hip-O Select site, "Most of the songs contained on it are unavailable anywhere else; many had never been re-released on vinyl, let alone on compact disc. When the edition is sold out, it’s gone for good, so act now."

Stevie Wonder mp3s:
Little Water Boy (With Clarence Paul)(Demo Version)
I Call it Pretty Music but the Old People Call it the Blues (Part 1)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Motown Remixed mp3s - Let's Get it On (Paul Simpson & Miles Dalto mix) & Signed, Sealed, Delivered (DJ Smash Remix)

The Motown Remixed album is out next week, and some vinyl is out now. This is one of my most anticipated album releases this month.

Here are two remixes from it.

I know, messing with Marvin and Stevie is messing with the Gospel. But this is all about reverence. And maybe cash.

Marvin Gaye - Let's Get it On (Paul Simpson & Miles Dalto MPG Groove Remix) (mp3)

Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered (DJ Smash Remix) (mp3)

Shittiest Shit Ever Shat, vol. 3

This is the third installment of Shittiest Shit, and to wait any longer without featuring a hair band would be criminal. Today, we're picking on 1987 again. Billboard's #56 hit of the year, just under Kenny G.'s Songbird, but 42 places ahead of the Beastie Boys' (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party), is Europe's uber-ballad, Carrie. Featuring super high-tech electric piano/synth, big vocals, a guitar solo (would you believe it), sappy lyrics, and enough hairspray to keep the hair of a colony of wookies in place in the rain, Carrie was a big hair rock ballad in the bleak heydey of that genre.


Europe and 20 Cans of Aqua Net

I think I got so good at switching the station when this song came on, I was able hit the button within the first half-note.

Europe - Carrie (mp3)

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Coral - mp3s from Invisible Invasion: A Warning to the Curious and Late Afternoon

Everybody's making a pop record these days, and just as I started to get bored of that resurrected 80's synth pop sound, here's an album that sounds more like that 80's brit-guitar gloom, i.e. more Echo & the Bunnymen than Duran Duran. Thank God.

Invisible Invasion starts with the Echo-like creepy repetetiveness in "She Sings the Mourning," effective, though you can't help but think that the song really needs Ian McCulloch for that added dramatic punch. The guitar solos in this track and "Come Home" are spirited and strong. "Arabian Sand" feature straightforward guitar riffing and an eerie organ to support the unsettling lyrics: "The madman's in the desert/look out behind you/the madman's in the desert/looking to find you...looking to shoot you down," and another one of those satisfying solos rips through the middle of the song, and ends with a roaring blast of guitar and drums.

A Warning to the Curious is not as spirited, but it's one of the most grabbing songs on the CD for its underwater electronic octave climb blended nicely into the Echoesque guitar atmosphere. Late Afternoon is just plain pretty.

The Coral mp3s (from Invisible Invasion):
A Warning to the Curious
Late Afternoon

Beatles Esher Acoustic Demos: Child of Nature and Revolution

Last week the Keoki and I discussed which Beatles albums we liked best. Mine are the White Album, Revolver, and sometimes The Magical Mystery Tour or Sgt. Peppers, depending on my mood. The Keoki's is Rubber Soul.

Sometimes, though, when you know an artist's catalog so well, you get the urge to listen to a live recording or a demo.

When you listen to "Child of Nature," you may feel the urge to whistle along with Lennon's "Jealous Guy." The latter song derived from a White Album scrap. From Wikipedia:

The [Jealous Guy] song's genesis came after the Beatles attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, when Paul McCartney wrote "Mother Nature's Son". John's composition, "Child of Nature", was not selected up for The Beatles (the White Album) but John continued to play it into the Get Back sessions. Eventually, the lyrics were scrapped and replaced by the now well known "Jealous Guy" lyric. The original lyrics John used were as follows:

On the road to Rishikesh,
I was dreaming more or less,
And the dream I had was true,
Yes, the dream I had was true.

I'm just a child of nature,
I don't need much to set me free,
I'm just a child of nature,
I'm one of nature's children.

Sunlight shining in your eyes,
As I face the desert skies,
And my thoughts return to home,
Yes, my thoughts return to home.

Underneath the mountain ranges,
Where the wind that never changes,
Touch the windows of my soul,
Touch the windows of my soul.


Three recordings of "Child of Nature" are currently known. The first is a demo of the song recorded at the home of George Harrison in May of 1968. The second, on which George sings backup, was recorded at Twickenham Film Studios on January 2, 1969. A third recording was made at Apple Studios on January 24. A snatch of the chorus from the second recording appears on the Fly On The Wall bonus disc packaged with Let It Be... Naked.


Here's the 1968 Esher demo recorded at George Harrison's abode:
Beatles - Child of Nature (Esher Demo)(mp3)

Our second track is also an Esher demo, a quiet, stripped acoustic version of "Revolution." From psst! magazine:

At first "Revolution was an acoustic, Dylanesque track. The demo can be found on the Esher Bootleg Tapes. It highlights John's soft vocal, backed up with an acoustic guitar and handclaps supplied by fellow band members. This style was carried through to the version that found its way onto the White Album.


Beatles - Revolution (Esher Demo) (mp3)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. Mp3

So all I know about the Gorillaz is that they're an animated band of some sort, one of them is the lead singer of Blur and every couple years they drop a couple of addictive singles that you can't get out of your head. A few years ago their song "Clint Eastwood" was stuck in my head and just as I'm free of that track here comes their new one. You've probably heard it on the I-Pod commercial with the roller skaters, which was the start of the madness for me. Apple has had an amazing streak of great tracks synched to their ads, so much so that everytime a new one comes out I'm usually at the i-Tunes store directly after the ad purchasing the 99 cent peice of heaven. Anywho, here's the track that me and my four year old really dig right now. OOOOO-OOOOO!


Feel Good Inc. - The Gorillaz

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Keoki's Bargain Bin Vol I

So we here at The Smudge like to bring you content.....massive amounts of content! Cano usually does the trick in that department with the copious amounts of mp3s he sends out. But now we're going to have some regular content, stuff that you can set a really slow watch to. Possibly a sundial even. Anywho, yesterday you got The Shittiest Shit and today you get The Bargain Bin. The idea behind the Bin is to hopefully make you go out and rent a horrible movie or perhaps an overlooked movie or ,even better, a movie that you have forgotten about and really liked but haven't layed eyes on in some time. So with that in mind here's The Keoki's Bargin Bin!

Let's start by having you read this story, which imagines the world of the furture possibly ruled by GIANT RATS!!! I honestly thought I was reading The Onion's front page instead MSNBC, but there it was "Giant rats may inherit the Earth." WOW! Now that's a future that sci-fi dorks can sign on for. So I got to thinking and reminiscing about the '50s craze of giant and mutated monster movies. There were sooooo many of them.....in fact THEM! was one of them. There was a series of B-movie fare that all included an Atomic blast of some sort or som sort of radioactive goo. That was the prevalent fear at the time....a mushroom cloud on the horizon and then your dog would be the size of a house. Damn you RUSSIA! Well you get the picture. So my first pick from the Bargin Bin is a little known treasure called "Empire Of The Ants" which came out much later than the '50s and actually hit during a renewed interest in giant animal movies like in the '70s. First of all there's nothing like poorly done sci-fi to brighten your day. And this is like Supernova bright! I think the ants are big because of industrial waste or something to the effect, it really doesn't matter. Why doesn't it matter....Because Joan Collins is in the movie dammit!!! This is pre-Dynasty and she truly shines, like a whore in a cheap sequined dress!!! (Confession: I watched Dynasty as a young man purely to see Joan Collins strut her bitchiness in all her shoulder padded glory. I'm not proud, but it's nice to get that off my chest.) So lets bring it all together....Giant Ants, Joan Collins, really really bad sci-fi....and you get The Keoki's very first Bargin Pick of the week!!! Cue the Lalo Schifrin music, cue the gong! I'm done.

Kurtis Blow or Madvillain?

Your mp3 player is so full that you can only fit one more song on it, and these two guitar-based rap songs are the only ones you haven't loaded up yet. Which one do you add? Do you go old school or new fangled? Tell us in the comments.


Kurtis Blow

Kurtis Blow - Way Out West (mp3) (1980)


Madvillain

Madvillain - Great Day (Four Tet Remix) (mp3) (2005)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I've Got Something He Can Never Have


Joseph Heller in 1961

Joe Heller

True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, "Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel 'Catch-22'
has earned in its entire history?"
And Joe said, "I've got something he can never have."
And I said, "What on earth could that be, Joe?"
And Joe said, "The knowledge that I've got enough."
Not bad! Rest in peace!


- Kurt Vonnegut, from the May 16th issue of the New Yorker.

Quantic Soul Orchestra (with Alice Russell) mp3s - Pushin' On and End of the Road


Quanta, baby

Will Holland, a.k.a. "Quantic," has this little side project called the Quantic Soul Orchestra. According to the QSO web page, "The concept is to present to the listener a sample free, live, raw funk sound with a nod to breakbeat and sample culture. The beats are tough, drum breaks a plenty and with the vocal talents of Alice Russell they have developed an original take on Deep Funk and Soul."

PopMatters says:

Holland is not content with rehashing staple breaks and beats...but draws on each manifestation of beat culture. Pushin' plays like a thoughtful tribute: to J.B. shuffle, Stepney lushness, Wanderley breezes, and a whole lotta S.O.U.L...

The tradition-steeped introduction builds to Alice Rusell's power struttin' entrance on "Pushin' On": beats by the pound, stilettos to the dome, and a yeeeeeaaaoooww! that would have Tina running back to Nutbush. Before settling in this proto-funk territory, the record takes an international jaunt. "Feeling Good" nods to Buarque's Brasil with its soft brass lines in unison and gorgeous strings, while "The Conspirator" sounds at home on the Ethiopiques series. While a steady backbeat remains the relative constant in all these cuts, Holland spreads the influences far and wide to give the album a sense of progression.


The QSO/Alice Russell songs are exactly the kind of music that you want to hear on the radio during the friday afternoon rush hour. It's good soul funk with Quantic oomph, sung with spunk and energy rivalling James Brown and Tina Turner.

The five tracks featuring Alice Russell work a whole lot more for me than the instrumentals. The instrumentals have all the right technical elements: the beats, the precision, the horns right on time, but the attitude in the playing doesn't come out through the speakers without the singing. 'Tude is essential to soul & funk; if it's lacking, your nu-soul funk is just plain nu. I'm not saying it's bad, because it's definitely not. The music is solid. It's just a little like having a supercharged version of the Funk Brothers playing on stage, and the singers never show up. Having said that, I'm certain the instrumental tracks are a lot livelier live than they are on CD, and I wouldn't miss the band's live gig.

QSO & Alice Russell mp3s:
Pushin' On
End of the Road

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Melissa Ichiuji: Stripped in D.C.



Melissa Ichiuji, a Corcoran art student, is on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., until 6 P.M. tonight. According to the Washington Post article, "The Art of Nothing":

She's just a performance artist in the final 36 hours of "Stripped," her performance piece (or "non-performance" piece, as she calls it). It is the last leg of a month-long journey toward little and less, and, in these final hours, public privation.

Curious passersby don't know what to make of Melissa Ichiuji's silence and serenity on a downtown corner. And, although she is discreet, pulling the ends of her white blanket fully around her form, they are quite thrown by the public urination.

The piece began in January when Ichiuji -- a married third-year Corcoran student in her late thirties from Front Royal, Va. -- started giving up things: coffee, television, soda and medication, followed in February by fast food and alcohol. As the seasons changed, she gave up cosmetics and chocolate, meat and magazines. Since the beginning of May, she's had: no newspapers, no music, no mirrors, no cell phone, no e-mail, no driving, no sex, no books, no family or friends or running water. No appliances, no speech, no clocks, no shoes, no food, no shelter. The idea is to let go of things that matter to the woman as a meditation on what matters most to the artist and, by extension, the audience.

"How much would you have to lose to appreciate what you have?" ask the postcards in front of her display.




This page on her website is a virtual flyer, with a list of things she has given up:



Impressive, but I'd be more impressed if she kept the digital cable, and her list went something like this:

Anger
Hate
Jealousy
Self-doubt
Prejudice


...and not least important...

The need for attention



View photos of her non-performance here.

Lalo Schifrin mp3s from Enter the Dragon - Theme Song and The Big Battle



Lalo Schifrin compositions from the Enter the Dragon OST:
Enter the Dragon Theme Song (mp3)
The Big Battle (mp3)


Lalo Schifrin, 1971

The killer soundtrack from Lalo Schifrin to the classic Bruce Lee vehicle, Enter The Dragon. Enter The Dragon was the first American produced martial arts movie. For the soundtrack, Schifrin exploited the full use of brass instruments whilst also adding Chinese instruments and themes to give the music a 'local' colour. It could also be said that he was the first musician to use sampling when he integrated Bruce Lee's fighting screams into the main theme.

Schifrin's involvement with the score started when he begrudgingly took his older son to see a martial arts movie and heard his theme to Mission Impossible being used (unauthorised) for the soundtrack. He wasn't impressed and said to himself that he wished he could score the music to a martial arts movie as he knew he could do a better job. The same day his agent rang and said that Warner Brothers (the producers of Enter The Dragon) wanted him to do the music to Bruce Lee's first American movie!

-from Moviegrooves.com



"It is like a finga pointing away to da moon...don't concentrate on da finga or you will miss all that heavenly glory. Do you understand?"

Acquire wisdom from these Bruce Lee quotes:

Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.

The aim of art is to project an inner vision into the world, to state in aesthetic creation the deepest psychic and personal experiences of a human being. It is to enable those experiences to be intelligible and generally recognized within the total framework of an ideal world.

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.

You just wait. I'm going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.

Roisin Murphy - mp3s from Ruby Blue (2005) - Night of the Dancing Flame and Ramalama


That girl is Roisin.

These tracks are from Ruby Blue, the debut solo album from Irish songstress Roisin Murphy, frontwoman of Moloko. The songs on Ruby Blue are all over the map - each song fuses elements of jazz, late 70's/early 80's soul, rock, and electronica, with varying emphasis on each between tracks. I'm not sold on the lyrics yet--phrases like "is it through memory's rose-tinted glass" and "fools, they rush in," though sung sincerely, make me wince a little.

The sometimes overreaching fusion and trite bits are easy for me to ignore for the brilliant moments, though, like Night of the Dancing Flame, which opens and closes with hot funky brass, and has hints of Stevie Wonder's Hotter Than July. The twin horns at the two and a half minute mark blend in beautifully with bells and wah-ing electronic pulses, then cede to the funky underlying rhythm. That's why I listen to music, folks.

Equally fun is the opening track, Leaving the City, a tense staccato electronic sonic adventure in which our heroine says she's leaving the city, but wants her lover to tell her to stay. Then there's the soulful dance jam, If We're In Love, in which she asserts, "If we're in love, we should make love," and Ramalama, which is a third industrial pulsing, a third jazz singer sassiness, and a third "George of the Jungle."

Roisin Murphy mp3s:
Leaving the City
Ramalama

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

New New Pornographers mp3 - Twin Cinema

The Salon.com Audiofile's Daily Download is the New Pornographers' Twin Cinema, which they posted along with the tracklist for the forthcoming (August) Twin Cinema, on their website.

BBC Reviews Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - "a chunky, funky space opera spectacular"


Fancy a spot of tea?

Good news first: George Lucas has delivered the film Star Wars fans have been praying for. Yes, it's true: Revenge Of The Sith kicks geek botty.

The relentless tedium of The Phantom Menace and appalling acting of Attack Of The Clones can be forgotten. Revenge Of The Sith strings a complex plot onto a framework of practically non-stop action...

...a bleak, bloody atmosphere that's shocking and occasionally even moving.

The full review is here. BBC gave it four stars out of five.

What the hell is a "botty?"

Update:
The Times Online (UK) says:

It has been remarked that if George Lucas could, he would choose to make a Star Wars movie without any actors in it at all. That would be a mistake. After two questionable disappointments, Revenge of the Sith serves up the anticipated answers with a flourish. But it is the spark of humanity that sets it apart from its predecessors, not its grand pyrotechnics.


This is Local London says:

...the movie comes to life in a more rich and complex manner than any of its predecessors. It is where the Star Wars saga grows up and comes of age. Star Wars started as a fairytale of a princess being rescued by a blue-eyed Prince Charming character and a fight against an evil masked warlord and ends as something of a violent philosophical debate about the essence of good and evil, human nature, politics and fate.

Lucas also seems to have drawn parallels between the Star Wars universe and our world there are similarities between the rise of Vader's Empire and Hitler's Nazis, and there also seems to be a veiled critique of President George W Bush...Like the best of the Star Wars films, this is a movie you will want to see again and again. It breathes new life into the series...

Longview - Will You Wait Here (Ulrich Schnauss Vocal Remix)

Just a quick post, because I have to counteract the crap I just put up with something decent, and I thought, what better than an Ulrich Schnauss remix.

From Longview's Mercury/Subversions:

Will You Wait Here (Ulrich Schnauss Vocal Remix) (mp3)

The Shittiest Shit Ever Shat, Deux - Love You Down (mp3)

1987 was a critical year for music. R.E.M. released Document, and broke through the airwaves with "The One I Love," U2 released The Joshua Tree, and achieved instant stardom with "With or Without You." The Cure's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me hit the record stores, and "Just Like Heaven" became an MTV favorite of millions of moping teens. The most important release of the year may have been the Pixies' Come On Pilgrim. The good music of 1987 laid the groundwork for the alt-90s and continues to influence important artists.


The Pixies' Come On Pilgrim

Sadly, the only singles from any of those albums to make the top 100 of the year were "With or Without You" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Other than U2, the airwaves were dominated by absolute shit put out by poster-worthy pop stars that kids could do the 80-s step to.

Some of the immortal music that did make the top 100 included:

18 I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW, Tiffany
26 ONLY IN MY DREAMS, Debbie Gibson
28 THE NEXT TIME I FALL, Peter Cetera with Amy Grant
34 YOU KEEP ME HANGIN' ON, Kim Wilde
54 DON'T MEAN NOTHING, Richard Marx
56 CARRIE, Europe


...and a bunch of other crap, including that touching love ballad by Ready For The World, Love You Down (mp3), with which they proved, after their dance anthem, Oh Shiela (mp3), that they're so much more than a one-hit wonder. They're a two-hit wonder.

The Colossal Sonny Rollins (mp3s)


Sonny Rollins

From "The Colossus," a Profile of Sonny Rollins by Stanley Crouch in the May 9th New Yorker:

When [Sonny] Rollins was a boy, Harlem suffered--as parts of it still do--from terrible poverty. Yet there was in intellectual and artistic renaissance. Ralph Ellison described Harlem in the nineteen-thirties as "an outpost of American optimism" and "our homegrown version of Paris." Rollins recalls the period as a happy time. "I remember us kids playing in the lobbies of the old theatres," he said...

It was Coleman Hawkins, the father of the jazz tenor saxophone, who most impressed him. Around the time the family moved to Sugar Hill, Hawkins's version of "Body and Soul (mp3)" was on jukeboxes across the country. "When I was a kid, even though I didn't really know what it was, you could hear Coleman playing that song all over Harlem," Rollins said. "It was coming out of all these windows like it was sort of a theme song."...


Coleman Hawkins

Though the dictates of show business meant that Negro musicians had to tolerate minstrelsy and all the other commonplace denigrations, most jazz musicians of the era formed an avant-garde of suave, well-spoken men in lovely suits and ties, with their shoes shining and their pomaded hair glittering under the lights, artists ranging in color from bone and beige to brown and black. Their very sophistication was a form of rebellion: these musicians made a liar of every bigot who sought to limit what black people could and could not do, could and could not feel...

In December of 1951, Rollins made a surprisingly mature recording, "Time on My Hands (mp3)." His tone is big and sensual, as delicate as it is forceful. Already, at twenty-one, he had the ability to express as much tenderness as strength...in pacing, tone, feeling, and melodic development, "Time on My Hands" is Rollins's first great piece...

One of the great small-group recordings, it [Saxophone Colossus (mp3)] showcased Rollins's improvisational powers. In 197, he made the equally extroardinary "Way Out West (mp3)," his first recording using only bass and drums...The following year, he recorded his most adventurous composition, "Freedom Suite (mp3)," a twenty-minute trio piece for tenor, bass, and drums...[it] has a stoic quality, a heroic attitude, and a grand lyricism without being stiff or cold or pretentious. It is a timeless achievement.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Star Wars in Time Magazine: An Origami Elegance



From today's Time Magazine:

Toward the end of Revenge of the Sith, the malefic Darth Sidious advances on Yoda, most of whose comrades on the Jedi Council have been cruelly cut down as the Republic is betrayed and the evil Empire spreads its vulture wings. " At last," the Sith lord hisses, sensing victory over a foe, " the Jedi are no more." Yoda, with all the knowledge and power of the Force compacted into a two-foot fur ball, squints sternly and issues one of his upside-down oracular sentences: " Not if anything I have to say about it."...

On May 19, you'll see where they got: back, finally, to the beginning. The narrative arcs of the grand epic, gracefully bending in a double helix, will be complete...

Again one feels the sure narrative footing of the first Star Wars, the sepulchral allure of the Empire, the confident resolution of a dozen plotlines that made Jedi into a satisfying capper to the original enterprise. True, Lucas can pack little surprise into a backstory that's obliged to complete the saga's circle in the middle. But there's an origami elegance to his folding of the old (new) story into the new (old) one.

...McGregor grows and grays intelligently into the middle-aaged Obi-Wan, and his fellow Scot Ian McDiarmid has a starmaking turn as Chancellor Palpatine. It is brooding stuff, the most violent of the series--it's rated PG-13--about the coming-of-rage of a classic villian. Anakin even has a bit of Shakespearean resonance: the conflicted Hamlet finding the grasping pride of Macbeth, the noble assasin Brutus festering into a yellow-eyed Titus Andronicus...

True believers will debate and deliberate over each scene with the severity of a Jedi Council. The rest of us will breath a sigh of relief that Lucas found the skill to make a grave and vigorous popular entertainment, a picture that regains and sustains the filmic Force he dreamed up a long time ago, in a movie industry that seems far, far away. Because he, irrevocably, changed it.


There you have it, doubters. Time gives ROTS its stamp of approval, and who are we to argue with Time?

Xiu Xiu mp3s from La Foret (2005) - Muppet Face and Bog



The thing about Xiu Xiu that makes them so listenable, despite all the dissonant harshness and depressed moaning, is that they sound dangerous, at a time when nobody sounds dangerous anymore. It's that addictive masochistic effect - you have to listen to the songs again, more closely, in the same way that you have to repeatedly watch The Bride yank out the eyeball in the trailer fight from Kill Bill 2, or replay the syringe scene in Pulp Fiction. It's all punishment and unrelieved tension, but wait, what exactly was it, and how did he do that? Play again. Is that a children's xylophone, replaced by a a hissing steam engine, and a raging electronic heartbeat underneath? Did he just say "There will always be a headless neck?" The songs seem to transform from human to machine and back again, and during those three and a half minutes, transform you with them.

Xiu Xiu mp3s:
Muppet Face
Bog People

mp3 Remixes - Britney's Toxic (Armand Van Helden remix) and Dido's White Flag (Al B Rich remix)

Superstars #1 Hits Remixed is out tomorrow, featuring jizztastic mixes of really annoying songs from Britney, Christina, Mariah, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Fantasia...you get the picture. Tracklist here.

This Britney remix, and admit it, you know you LOVE it, goes out to the Keoki, who will listen to this while watching XXX2 and reading Grisham, simultaneously!

Superstars #1 Hits Remixed mp3s:
Britney Spears - Toxic (Armand Van Helden remix)
Dido - White Flag (Al B Rich remix)

Friday, May 06, 2005

Sons and Daughters - Dance Me In & Taste the Last Girl



These Scots rock. Their forthcoming "The Repulsion Box" (June) more than fulfills the promise of their pre-album work. From the foot-stomp romp opening track, "Medicine," to these two tracks of glorious guitar rhythms and lyrical intensity, your yearning for the authentic is hereby slaked.

Sons and Daughters mp3s:
Dance Me In (produced by Edwyn Collins)
Taste the Last Girl

Check out the video for Dance Me In here.

Personal Ad of the Week

Again, the Washington City Paper disappoints not:

The Willoughby

Last month I found in the laudry your beautiful Victoria Secret thong. I put my e-mail inside and placed it on some visible place, hoping for some thanks message at least... still nothing. Well, I am still looking to find some underwear of yours, but no luck this time.. Do you believe that underwear can tell a lot about personality? E-mail me, I am looking forward to hear from you... from what I've seen, your personality must be great!!!

When: Sunday, May 1, 2005

Where: The Willoughby laundry

I saw a: Woman

I am a: Man

Date posted: Thursday, May 5, 2005


Your personality sounds great too, brother.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Blog Aggregators

I added the blog aggregator links over there to the right. Check out the new Elbo.ws. (tip from largehearted boy)

The Real Hijackers

Earlier this year the British writer Gerald Seymour constructed an exceptionally good novel, The Unknown Soldier, around the premise that the men who are drawn into the embrace of al Qaeda are not at all who we think they are. We believe, as one of his characters puts it, that they are "brainwashed," when in fact "Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants . . . have refined a skill in identifying young men of varying social backgrounds and economic advantage who are prepared to make supreme sacrifices for a cause." They are not necessarily loners but are attracted to "the excitement of being a part of that select fugitive family," they have strong "personal self-esteem," they seek "adventure and purpose."

Now, in Perfect Soldiers, Terry McDermott provides the hard facts behind the fictional picture that Seymour so persuasively draws...

Clearly written in good, plain English, Perfect Soldiers is a group portrait of ordinary men who were driven to do a surpassingly evil thing...

Having discovered a cause for which they were ready -- indeed, often eager -- to sacrifice their own lives, these young jihadists followed orders as precisely and dutifully as the most assiduously trained U.S. Marine.


- From Yardley's review of Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It

cheap baubles, utterly gimcrack, completely phony

...Gilbert Sorrentino takes easy shots at pseudo-profundity and the effortless power of jargon to cloud men's minds. These are fun. But he also leaves one shaken, wary of language altogether, unsure whether sentences communicate anything at all. Suddenly, words no longer feel like tokens of meaning or things of beauty but like cheap baubles, utterly gimcrack, completely phony. The satire of Lunar Follies hews so close to the bone that it saws right through it and leaves one crippled.


- From Dirda's review of Gilbert Sorrentino's Lunar Follies, here

Daniel Johnston mp3s: Don't Play Cards With Satan, Held the Hand, The Sun Shines Down on Me, plus covers

For no reason other than it's what I happen to be listening to today, and The Sun Shines Down On Me really hit me, here are some Daniel Johnston songs from 1990 and Discovered Covered (Originals Disc), and two covers from Discovered Covered.

Daniel Johnston mp3s:
Don't Play Cards With Satan (1990)
Spirit World Rising (with Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley and Lee Ranaldo) (1990)
Held the Hand (1990)
The Sun Shines Down on Me (I took this one from Discovered Covered)

Covers:
Beck - True Love Will Find You in the End (This was on a recent episode of the O.C.)
Guster - The Sun Shines Down on Me

mp3 - A Vietnam Groove



From Buddha-Bar VII, CD 1 (Sarod), another blend of traditional singing - this time, Vietnamese - and heavy beats. Engaging and hypnotic.

My Phuong Nguyen & Thierry David - Huong Vietnam (mp3)

Night is a Dream

Good Night

Sleep softly my old love
my beauty in the dark
night is a dream we have
as you know as you know

night is a dream you know
an old love in the dark
around you as you go
without end as you know

in the night where you go
sleep softly my old love
without end in the dark
in the love that you know

-W.S. Merwin, from the May 2, 2005 issue of the New Yorker

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Duplex - mp3s from Ablum: Figure 8 and Pooing and Peeing



Here's the lineup for Duplex!'s irresistably catchy, charming children's album, Ablum (from Minty):
Abe Caruso (xylophone/harmonica. Age: 3. Member of the Abe Caruso Project). Annie Wilkinson (bass. Age: 37. Member of Great Aunt Ida, the Beekeepers). Justin Kellam (drums. Age: 32. Member of Mint recording artists p:ano). Matt Caruso (guitar. Age: 35. Member of the Beekeepers). Saoirse Soley (keyboards/guitars. Age: 11. Member of M. Michelle's Grade 6/7 class & the Leaky Heaven Circus). Sierra Terhoch (piano/toys. Age: 11. Member of M. Michelle's Grade 6/7). Shaun Brodie (trumpet. Age: 25. member of the Neins, AC Newman). Veda Hille (piano/organ. Age: 35. Member of herself). Everybody sings!Fans of kids' entertainers like Dan Zanes (or for that matter any parent who is sick of suffering at the hands of Elmo or Barney) owe it to themselves and their kids to give Duplex a spin. Word to your mothers and your kids." Features members of AC Newman, p:ano & M. Michelles grade 6 class.


Whew.

Now that you've looked at the picture, read the lineup, and doubt that they're actually good, listen to these mp3s. Not since School House Rock has "children's" music been so catchy.

Figure 8
Pooing and Peeing

Malente - Fever (Boca 45 Remix) and I Sell Marihuana (Dr. Rubberfunks Sitar Boogie Remix)

Play these wicked Malente remixes from Rip It Up. Your body will tell you what to do.

Malente mp3s:

The Fever (Boca 45 Remix)

I Sell Marihuana (Dr. Rubberfunks Sitar Boogie Remix) available at Scissorkick.

When you're done, have fun with the Malente WebMixer.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Satintones mp3s from The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 1

Before the Jackson 5, the Supremes, and even the Funk Brothers, Motown had The Satintones. According to their All Music Guide bio,

The Satintones were Motown's first group, recording for the company from 1960 through 1961 and releasing six singles. This was during Motown's blues and mundane R&B era, and before the arrival of the jazz-based rhythmic backing of the Funk Brothers; a time when Ivy Joe Hunter led the session musicians, not Earl Van Dyke; a period when Motown released nine bad records for every good one; and a time when disc jockeys cringed at 45s sporting the Tamla or Motown logo.


and
You won't find any of their single releases -- "My Beloved," "Motor City," "Tomorrow and Always," "Angel," "I Know How It Feels," and "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart" -- on any Motown compilation album.


You won't find them, that is, until now. All of their singles are on Hip-O's The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 1: 1959-1961.

Satintones mp3s:
Motor City
Angel
Sugar Daddy
My Kind of Love

Don't Panic!!! This Is About Blogging!

Something interesting for Blogging Bloggers and the like.


What The Guide has to say about Blogging?

Ian MacKaye

From NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday:
Ian MacKaye (pronounced Mac-EYE) is known as a punk rock veteran, the guitarist and vocalist who founded the seminal band Minor Threat in the early '80s and, after the demise of that band, Fugazi.

But his most recent album, the self-titled debut of his new band The Evens, is lilting melody. The guitarist and vocalist formed The Evens with drummer Amy Farina, who also sings on the album. Katia Dunn spoke with MacKaye about the project.

A Quieter Course for Punk Pioneer Ian MacKaye

Intelligence - Let's Toil (mp3)

Seattle's Intelligence is the Anti-American Idol. Well, he will make you cringe as much as the worst (or best) Idol performance will. The difference is that you'll cringe in a good way.

From the Narnack Fist-First Sampler, available here:

Let's Toil (mp3)
Bee Hive (mp3)