Friday, July 29, 2005

Boring Flipping Music

Here's a song from rinocerose that complains about the boringness and crappiness of music. It is neither boring nor trivial, and just might be the perfect jolt to start your weekend. It's the perfect start to my mini vacation - I'll be back around Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Who is this being sung to?

By the way, it's not for the kiddies.

rinocerose - funky funky music (feat. nuuti from dead combo) (mp3)

Suave vs. Not Suave

Here's the audio/visual guide to suave vs. not suave.

The Visual Guide:


Not Suave


Not Suave

Got it?

The Audio Guide:

Suave: Serge Gainsbourg - Je T'aime (Moi Non Plus)(Vibrators Remix)(mp3) (from Love and the Beat, vol. 1)

Not Suave (mp3).

Brak for President 2008

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Nelly Furtado Cuts Loose

"Loose" will be the title of Nelly Furtado's new album, according to the "Message From Nelly" posted on last Thursday. It's close to completion, and she has recorded over 20 tracks, with such song titles as:

What I Wanted
For Sure.

No word on a tentative release date.

Here are some mp3s from her in-studio performance on KCRW's New Ground. You can listen to the entire interview and performance here. Don't let her bubbly enthusiasm scare you away. The performances are really good.

Picture Perfect
I'm Like a Bird

I can feel my cheek still burning.

My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
that spring
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
in her deepest cabinet
and would not let him out,
though I could hear him thumping...

Read the rest of Stanley Kunitz's The Portrait in today's Boston Globe.

Mrs. Noah of Arc?

Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor...

That’s what America is: a place saturated in Christian identity.

But is it Christian? This is not a matter of angels dancing on the heads of pins. Christ was pretty specific about what he had in mind for his followers. What if we chose some simple criterion—say, giving aid to the poorest people—as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior? After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they’d fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?

From The Christian Paradox: How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong, by Bill McKibben, in the August Harper's.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Devics mp3s - KCRW MBE, Live in Studio, 26 July 2005

Sara from Devics

I haven't had a chance to listen closely to the lyrics yet, but these songs, which Devics played yesterday (listen) (watch) on Morning Becomes Eclectic, are so irresistibly pretty, the music draws you away from your left brain.

Devics (dee - vicks) mp3s, from KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, 26 July 2005:

Lie to Me
Red Morning
Don't Take it Away
If We Cannot See
Just One Breath
Distant Radio

Unfortunately, the band is also irresistibly (annoyingly) pretty, hence the photo above.

The band has an EP out now, and will release a full-length in September.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Looming Death Blues

Images from R. Crumb's comic, Patton.

Charley Patton - Poor Me (mp3)
Charley Patton and Bertha Lee - Oh Death (mp3)

Songs available on Complete Recordings 1929-34

Beck Remix #1 EP

iTunes has an exclusive Beck EP, released today, with the following remixes:

Beck Remix #1 EP:

Broken Drum (Remix By Boards of Canada)
Black Tambourine (South Rakkas Crew Remix)
Missing (Remix By Royksopp)
Ghost Range (Remix By Homelife)
Fax Machine Anthem (Remix By Dizzee Rascal)
Farewell Ride (Remix By Subtle)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday Live

Two of the best songs of the year, from two of the best albums of the year:

Antony and the Johnsons - Fistfull of Love (live) (guitar and vocal only, xfm 2005-05-06)

Mountain Goats - Song for Dennis Brown (live)(guitar and vocal only, 2005-07-04, Fulton Mall Parking Garage - entire show is here)

Another TV Theme Song (Freaks and Geeks):

Joan Jett - Bad Reputation (live) (this one goes out to Uncle Tom)

The Pipettes - One Night Stand (live) (Wales 2005-07-16)

Beck - Sexx Laws (live) (video gameish, Memorial Coliseum, Portland, 2005-07-16)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

TV Theme Song Smorgasbor(e)d

Here are some classic TV theme songs. Because I've nothing better to do. They will make us both feel a lot better going into the weekend.

TV Theme Song mp3s:

Battle of the Planets
Three's Company (Season One)
Sanford & Son
Hawaii Five-O
Good Times
The Jeffersons
Diff'rent Strokes
White Shadow (wma)
Laverne and Shirley
Gilligan's Island
Gimme a Break
Greatest American Hero (wma)
Happy Days
Welcome Back, Kotter (wma)
The A-Team
The Muppet Show
Inspector Gadget
Quantum Leap
The Love Boat
Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
George of the Jungle
Jonny Quest
Looney Tunes

More variable quality theme songs (mostly wavs, ra's, and au's) here.

Three Fourths of Sonic Youth Are Heavy Creeps; Debut 4 New Songs



Steve and Kim joined Thurston as the Heavy Creeps at the Flywheel in Easthampton, MA on July 18 and performed 4 new songs Sonic Youth have been working on in rehearsals. The songs were 'Helen Lundeberg', 'OR', 'Do You Believe in Rapture' and 'Pink Steam.' Footage of the event can be found here [downloadable mov].

Rare Pixies/Frank Black/Breeders TV Videos

This very generous guy, Matthew, posted 14 rare Pixies, Breeders, and Frank Black TV videos in .wmv format, some of them pretty old.

Here's what he has available for download:

****(Artist - Song - Venue - Year)****

1. Pixies - Gigantic, (interview), Hey - Night Network/Lonely Hearts Club - unknown

2. Pixies - Monkey Gone to Heaven, Tame, Wave of Mutilation, Where is My Mind - Werchter Rock Festival in Belgium - 1992

3. Pixies - Dead, (interview), I Bleed - Snub TV - unknown

4. Pixies - Cecelia Ann, Allison - The Word - 1990

5. Pixies (with Eric Feldman of Pere Ubu on keyboards) - U-Mass, Planet of Sound, interview (Dave Kendall) - 120 Minutes - Nov 1991

6. Pixies - Trompe le Monde - Letterman - Feb 1992

7. Pixies - Head On, Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons - Dennis Miller - Feb 1992

8. Pixies - Planet of Sound - Dennis Miller - Feb 1992

9. Frank Black - interview - city limits/much music - unknown

10. Frank Black (with David Bowie) - Fashion - Concert for Bowie's 50th b'day party

11. Breeders - Divine Hammer, Cannonball - MTV New Year's Eve - unknown

12. Breeders - The She - Last Call with Carson Daly - unknown

13. Pixies - Here Comes Your Man, Where is My Mind - The Move Festival, Manchester - July 2004

14. Pixies - Bone Machine, Broken Face, Something Against You, Debaser - T in the Park, Scotland - July 04

Get it before bandwidth is hogged. Of course, I got mine before this post.

What do you think of Frank Black's Honeycomb? I'm loving it. It's not as caffeinated as his work with the Catholics, but it makes me smile just as much. I'm a biased fan, though.

And how about that falsetto on this live Frank Black cover of Tom Waits' The Black Rider (mp3), from the 11 March 2003 Beta Bar show.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Goin to my baby's house with my .44 in my hand

Barrelhouse pianist Mose Vinson harked back to the pre-war tradition to put his own stamp on 44 Blues (mp3), waxed on September 9, 1953 with Joe Hill Louis firing off a guitar solo commensurate with Vinson's unveiled verbal threats. Born in Holly Springs, Miss. on June 2, 1917, Mose did two sessions for [Memphis label's Sam] Phillips a few months apart, but none of his efforts was released at the time, and he wouldn't record again for another 16 years or so.

Pianist Billy "The Kid" farewell to the label with a sly Little Fine Healthy Thing (mp3) that would constitute half his last Sun single.

-From the CD booklet for Sun Records: 25 Rare Blues Classics.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Q and Not U mp3s - live at Fort Reno, 7-18-2005

I struggled, but made the 10-minute drive from where I work to Fort Reno yesterday evening to catch the free Q+-U "farewell to teenie-boppers" show (they only have 2 more shows to go--both at the Black Cat in DC). After wilting in the afternoon sun, listening Son of Nun's (visit the S.O.N. website to be flagged by the Dept of Homeland Security) spirited appeals to a small high-school aged crowd to "Free Palestine Now!" and get the troops out of Baghdad ("this is my city"), several hundred sopping, pimpled teenage foreheads worked their way to the stage for one last encounter with their local indie darlings.

And they were not disappointed. Q+-U played a tight, compact Fort Reno-sized set, appreciating the local support by sacrificing every bit of sweat in their bodies. There was minimal banter--a mere minute of talk in the middle of the show to thank the local kids and encourage them to continue to support the Fort Reno series--and as much aggressive indie power pop as you can fit into an hour.

This is what it sounded like from where I stood (center, about 20 feet from stage):

Mp3 setlist, Q and Not U, at Fort Reno, 7-18-2005

Wonderful People
Wet Work
Book of Flags/When the Lines Go Down
Thanks and Remarks
End the Washington Monument (Blinks) Goodnight
Air Conditions/This Are Flashes
Recreation Myth
Black Plastic Bag
Soft Pyramids/X-Polynation
A Line in the Sand
So Many Animal Calls (encore)

Buy Q and Not U releases.

P.S. If the levels are off, and if the crowd noise is too loud,'re just too picky.

NOTE: ID3 Tags repaired as/of 8:16 PM EST

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bethany, Douglas, Rebecca, & Anthony: Gender and MyYahoo!

If you go to My.Yahoo! as a guest today, you'll see a yellow highlighted section near the top, with the text "Bethany, Douglas, Rebecca & Anthony have cool My Yahoo! pages – check ‘em out!"

It looks like this:

Clicking on "check 'em out!" takes you to examples of MyYahoo! pages for the two ladies and two men, with accompanying video and audio of each. The men appear to be successful businessmen, and have serious MyYahoo! portals. Doug is a mid-40ish asian male in a golf outfit, and has a golf-related setup, but also has BBC News/Front Page for his headlines, and Stock Portfolios and the Market Summary on his left sidebar. One presumes he's either retired or a golf pro. Anthony comes across as a young asshole suit. He introduces himself with "Welcome to a business jock's home page." He holds a PDA in his hand, and on his page, we find Stock Portfolios, the Market Summary, and headlines from the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, and Forbes.

Then we have the ladies. Bethany, a young headphone-clad hottie, says "I'm a lover, not a dancer, but I do love to dance." Her page is pink and purplefied. Her headlines? E! Online Celebrity News, opening movies, and movie showtimes. She declares, "Take out the celebrity names, and Entertainment News has the same drama as my friends' e-mails." The other woman, thirty-something Rebecca, has headlines from Children's Health (which has the headline, "poop experts (chronic constipation in 7 year old?)," iVillage, and Blogging Baby. Her right sidebar has the Epicurious Recipe of the Day (the "My Kind of Chocolate Birthday Cake"). In her inbox, she has messages with the subject lines "Snacks for Thursday" and "Carpool Schedule."

The men: successful professionals. The ladies: dependents and entertainment news junkies.

You've come a long way, baby.

Click here to check out the promotion yourself.

The Comas - The Aphid's Eye (mp3)

On The Comas' site, the year is listed as "????" and the type is "????"

But give it a listen, and you'll think of it more as "!"

The Comas - Aphid's Eye (mp3) (It's their unreleased recording of the week, from this page on their site)

Q And Not U are HOT

...or at least they will be tonight at their free show at Fort Reno.

Hopefully they play this.

Q and Not U - Ten Thousand Animal Calls (mp3), from the On Play Patterns CD/EP.

(not to be confused with So Many Animal Calls (mp3))

I hate farewell tours. But I'll be there anyway, if I'm brave enough to expose myself to the 100+ degree heat index in a crowd of sweaty people, AND if I don't jinx it by going and causing a downpour by my mere presence.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Arcade Fire - Cold Wind b/w Brazil 7in., Available for Preorder July 22

From the Merge Records announcement:

A brand new single by The Arcade Fire!! The 7" vinyl single features Cold Wind b/w Brazil on clear vinyl. Cold Wind is an exclusive track written for the hit HBO series Six Feet Under and appears on the recently released soundtrack for the show. Brazil, is a fabulous cover of the classic Ary Baroso/Ed Russel penned song performed by everyone from Xavier Cugat to the Ventures, and now by the Arcade Fire! Clear Vinyl and a beautiful translucent velum sleeve !

Visit Merge to preorder.

Go down to the hollow with the aurgasmist.

Damn, this gal means it, doesn't she. And that opening harmonica solo is bold as a bandit.

Go to aurgasm and get yours.

Friday Live

If you were listening to Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW yesterday, you were treated to a stunning in-studio set from Sufjan Stevens and his "friends." You can still watch or listen to the entire set here.

Sufjan Stevens, Morning Becomes Eclectic Live In-Studio Performance, July 14, 2005. Songs are from his new album, (Come On, Feel the) Illinois(e):

Casimir Pulaski Day (mp3)
Chicago (mp3)
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts (mp3)

Bloc Party, 89.3 The Current Live In-Studio Performance, March 30, 2005

This Modern Love (mp3)

Andrew Bird, 89.3 The Current Live In-Studio Performance, March 10, 2005

A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left (mp3)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sees the Gramophone

Last month, I posed the question, "What do you see when you listen to music in the dark, or with your eyes closed?" to you, and several notable mp3 bloggers and musicians.

Sean from the indispensable Said the Gramophone recently replied:

I see the world, but it's dancing.

I see the same things I see in my head all day. There are trees, skyscrapers, streetcars, skies, deserts, desserts, girls. There are men with moustaches, there is sun through a window in the dining room, there's my friend Heather. There she is! But as I watch, as the camera swoops and spins and zooms in right close, there's dancing. The leaves jerk and flitter, green bleeding from the edges. Strange colours swoop in, they get in the way. The ground goes brown, browner. The night shakes a bit, the windowlight freezes and then fast-forwards. The streetcar gets grainy, it turns black and white, it rocks, the image tears at the edges. Everything gets distorted, no- no, that's not right. But all the pictures in my head, listening to music, they're not paintings on canvas. It's more like someone's painted pictures on top of the waves. They swell and subside, they crash and blend, they keep on coming and I don't know where they're headed.

Thank you, Sean, for sharing your vivid musical daydream. I'm tempted to take that and separate it into lines and stanzas.

I'm guessing that most people would have to ingest something to have the same experience.

The Pipettes - He's So Sweet, But They've Had Just About Enough of Sweet

The Pipettes have put up a new radio session mp3 for your aural fun. It's called Why Did You Stay (mp3), and it's about boys with no self-respect and the girls who treat them like turd parasites:

Why did you stay
When I treated you that way

I'm so cruel
And he was so kind
Why did I feel
I had to leave you behind

And he was so sweet
Well, I've had just about enough of sweet!

...Why did you stay with me?

It's available on this page, and I recommend you check in periodically for new material if you like it.

[Charlie] Patton, a comic book by R. Crumb, online

Read R. Crumb's 12-page comic on about Delta bluesman Charley Patton here. From the comic:

Charley Patton lived most of his life on the vast Dockery plantation in the bottomlands of the Mississippi Delta. He was a rambler, a shiftless no-good who lived of women and passed his time in total idleness.

He was also a great blues performer whose powerful effect on the blues and rock and roll is still felt today...the music he played and sang can in no way be described. It must be listened to.

Charley Patton - A Spoonful Blues (mp3), from the Internet Archive.

From the IA post for A Spoonful Blues:
This was recorded on June 14, 1929 in Richmond, Indiana. Dick Spottswood in "Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton" describes it as "[p]robably a cocaine song with ambiguous sexual overtones...."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Bullette is The Laziest Gal in Town (mp3, live on WVUD)

(Faster than a speeding) Bullette just posted a cover of The Laziest Gal in Town (mp3), the Cole Porter/Marlene Dietrich song from the Hitchcock film "Stage Fright," performed live on WVUD with Hangnail Phillips. Slinky and sexy. And I love the way she pronounces "Hitchcock."

It's on this page, along with some keyhole Bullette cover art.

stellastarr*, freshly ripped

I ripped this from a 128K internet radio stream about 45 minutes ago. It doesn't get much fresher than that, folks.

stellastarr* - Lost in Time (mp3)

It might not be headphone-quality, but it's good enough for the computer you're sitting in front of right now.

From the forthcoming stellastarr* album, Harmonies for the Haunted.

And from the brilliant Husky G(entleman) on the stellastarr* message board, stream Street Troubled Soul from the same album: windows media high / low

NOTE TO UNCLE TOM: I'm thinking about you and the Keoki as you toil in the stifling heat. We need to go to a show when you come back. You're down for stellastarr* again the next time they play the Black Cat or 9:30, right? That goes for you, too, rc666.

Remastered Arcade Fire EP

Seriously, though, I swear the remastered Arcade Fire EP sounds better than my copy of the original. It might be my imagination, but I don't think so. I think they amplified the guitar track a wee bit in the "between the click of the light/and the start of a dream" bridge in No Cars Go, and the chiming in Headlights Look Like Diamonds has a clearer ring. Anyone with me? I'd post, but A)You might not hear the difference in the compressed file, and B)I'm not an idiot who wants EMI to sue me.

Rick Springfield on Hot Baths and Beautiful Women Under the Milky Way

It's Wednesday, and by now you're kicking yourself because it's the day after yesterday (new release day) and you forgot to buy the latest Rick Springfield album, "The Day After Yesterday." Which is today. Of course, yesterday (figuratively), he couldn't possibly have made this album of covers, because he was cool. Observe:

A lot has changed since he pined for Jessie's Girl. For one thing, he is morphing into JC Chasez. Compare:


JC, JC, JC, and JC, as reflective as he's going to get

Go ahead, laugh. Just remember, you know he's getting way more tang than you.

And this is where his musical evolution has taken him: here are two of your favorite songs from the 80's, covered by Rick Springfield. They are so totally flipping righteously awesome you might never listen to the originals again. They're even good enough to have been background music for those General Hospital scenes, when his Noah Drake and nurse Bobbi Spencer made the daytime screen sweat with their scorching hotness.

Human (Human League cover) (mp3)
Under the Milky Way (Church cover) (mp3)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I Be's Troubled.

The blues belonged to a whole culture, one that sang spirituals and worksongs, that juked on “Sadys” and prayed on Sundays, that did the shout and the shimmy, that told tall tales and true stories, that conjured with black cat bones and mojo, too, that wore red flannel and bore children at home, that improvised the dozens and signified with marvelous verbal dexterity, and that survived poverty and oppressive racism, famine and flood. The Delta blues bore the fruit of its origins, simultaneously secular and sacred, American and West African.

“I Be’s Troubled” (.mov stream)

Well [if] I feel tomorrow
Like I feel today,
[I’m] gonna pack my suitcase
And make my getaway
Lord, I’m troubled, I’m all worried in my mind
And I never been satisfied,
And I just can’t keep from cryin’.

...“I Be’s Troubled” combined the obvious theme of loss and sorrow, in this case of a lost love, and evoked the familiar spiritual idea of troubles (“Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Had”) with that of movement (“Trabelin’ On”). Songs about spiritual and physical weariness, about being troubled and wanting to travel beyond the present, nurtured the blues. Even the syntax of the title, “I Be’s Troubled,” revealed the song’s cultural heritage. Many West African languages and the African-American creolized Gullah have not distinguished between past and present in some verb usage. For example, “slaves indicated habitual actions, past or present, by using be plus the action verb, as . . . ‘you orter be carry money with you.’” In this way, “I Be’s Troubled” could also be understood as “I was troubled for some time,” rather than a simple grammatical mistaking of ‘be’ for ‘am.’ “I Be’s Troubled” stretched out the action and emphasized the temporal, enduring quality of suffering. And, as Muddy Waters added, the only cure for suffering was leaving...

In 1948 Muddy Waters recorded “I Be’s Troubled” for Aristocrat Records in Chicago, under the title “I Can’t Be Satisfied" (mp3). An artifact of the Great Migration of African Americans to Chicago, it reflected Waters’ altered perspective from the south to the north, of someone who had already “skipped off.”

Well, I’m goin’ away to leave
Won’t be back for more
Goin’ back down south, child
Don’t you want to go.
Woman I’m troubled, I be all worried in mind
Well baby I just can’t keep be satisfied
And I can’t keep from cryin’.

Muddy Water’s first version, “I Be’s Troubled,” had documented the world of plantation sharecropping from which the 28-year-old McKinley Morganfield had not yet been able to “pack my suitcase and make my getaway.”


NOTE: check out many other fascinating .mov streams, some with interviews, at this Brown University URL:

Monday, July 11, 2005

Simon Says You Must Get On Your Knees

When you first look at the Pipettes, you might be tempted to dismiss them as gimmicky and light. You might look at this lovely 60's throwback trio in matching polka-dot dresses, standing before a crowd, harmonizing with coordinated hand movements, as if the Supremes were white Brightonites, smile at the clever lyrics, and think to yourself, "There's no way anyone's going to be listening to this music five years from now. I give them two albums, max."

But then you want to hear the songs again. You slap yourself for having called them derivative. Who else can write such a catchy song about a girl's teenage crush, crushed by the boy's being gay, and resolved by the epiphany that she's attracted to other girls? School Uniform is out of place, out of time, and makes you feel a little weird when you imagine it's happening at Arnold's Diner.

Anyone who has suffered from a broken heart will relate to It Hurts to See You Dance So Well, when the Pipettes sing "I've got no spirit for dancing since you walked out the door," and "It hurts to see you looking so fine" and "It hurts to see you dance so well." Then there's the uber-infectious Judy (Watcha Gonna Do?) about whom the narrator sings:

All the older boys would stop and turn their heads
All the older girls wished that she was dead

You'll wish you were on their playground when they play their version of Simon Says (mp3):

Simon says you must get on your knees
Simon's telling you to beg me please
And if you don't do what I say we can't have any fun

Simon says we're gotta tie you up
Simon says those bonds aren't tight enough...

When the Pipettes ask if the class bad boy, who sits in the back, and is seven years older than the rest of the class, is "Really That Bad (mp3)," is it with worry or hope? Yeah, it's with hope.

The Pipettes just signed with Memphis Industries, which means that they're one step closer to a debut album. Lucky for us.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Peak of Music?

The first thing music does is banish silence. Silence is at once a metaphor for loneliness and the thing itself: It’s a loneliness of the senses. Music overcomes silence, replaces it. It provides us with a companion by occupying our senses—and, through our senses, our minds, our thoughts. It has, quite literally, a presence. We know that sound and touch are the only sensual stimuli that literally move us, that make parts of us move: Sound waves make the tiny hairs in our inner ears vibrate, and, if sound waves are strong enough, they can make our whole bodies vibrate. We might even say, therefore, that sound is a form of touch, and that in its own way music is able to reach out and put an arm around us.

...From a distance of centuries, knowledgeable observers can usually discern when specific cultural developments within societies or civilizations reached their peaks. The experts may argue over precise dates and details, but the existence of the peaks themselves is rarely in question. In the case of Western music, we don’t have to wait centuries for a verdict. We can say with confidence that the system of tonal harmony that flowered from the 1600s to the mid-1900s represents the broad summit of human accomplishment, and that our subsequent attempts to find successors or substitutes for that system are efforts—more or less noble—along a downhill slope.

- From Music Without Magic, by Miles Hoffman, violist and artistic director of the American Chamber Players, and music commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, in the Spring 2005 Wilson Quarterly.

Has classical music peaked? Or are we just on a temporary downslide on a roller coaster of creativity? Is the lure of pop stardom diverting dreams and stealing young musical talent? Or is pop music evolving into a marriage of sound and lyric that has the potential to exceed the great classics? Does pop music provide greater empathy than classical?

It was "John Belushi screwing one of the Playmates."

Jennifer Saginor

"It's 1975. I'm six when I see sex for the first time."

So begins "Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion," Jennifer Saginor's sex- and drug-soaked memoir of her youth. Lots of kids walk in on their parents doing it. But in 1975, it wasn't her parents Jennifer Saginor caught in media res. It was "John Belushi screwing one of the Playmates."

The daughter of "Dr. Feel Good," Hugh Hefner's personal physician and Playboy Mansion regular, Saginor was practically raised at the bunny ranch. She caught sight of Belushi on her first visit, and that stay sets the tone for most of her story's 300 pages: hairy older men grabbing at young flesh, "boobs ... flying everywhere," and a scared, immature girl in way over her head. "Playground" traces Saginor's growth from a confused 6-year-old into an even more confused high schooler whose world consists not of jocks and nerds, but Playmates and the men who screwed them.

One man who screwed more than most was Saginor's dad...

- From the review of Jennifer Saginor's memoir, "Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion."

Friday Live Mp3s

All live mp3s:

PJ Harvey - Is This Love (KCRW, in-studio, April 2001)

Dashboard Confessional feat. Michael Stipe - Hands Down (MTV Covers)

Final Fantasy - This is the Dream of Win and Regine (Music Gallery, June 2005)

The Wedding Present - Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (from Singles 1989-1991)

Pulp - Common People (Live at Glastonbury)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Jamie Lidell Got Me Up

And he'll get you up, too. You'll love the way You Got Me Up creeps up on you. It starts as a downtempo sprawl, then he unleashes the beats, the bass, and effects-laden guitar on you. Feel the joy when the bass gets all Earth, Wind, and Fire. Music Will Not Last begins with a brassified vocal melody, giving way to a bassline worthy of the Funk Brothers, and when the beats come in, oh boy. Listening to Multiply is sort of like listening to the solid Motown Remixed, but the difference is that this one is even and stink-free.

Jamie Lidell mp3s:

You Got Me Up

New Me

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

No Good New Release Blues

Just when you thought nothing good hit the stores this week...yeah, you were right. Good thing there's stuff like this to fall back on. These songs were recorded in the 1920's, and it sounds like it, but the music is timeless.

Blind Blake mp3s from Ragtime Guitar's Foremost Fingerpicker:

Come On Boys Let's Do That Messin' Around

Police Dog Blues

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Appealing Rapist-Murderer

Sentences lifted from Killer's Release Repels, Transfixes Canada, in Sunday's Washington Post.

Sometime before Tuesday, a pretty blond woman of 35 will slip out of a penitentiary near Montreal, trying to escape a media mob that has been waiting for this moment for 12 years.

The saga of Karla Homolka has transfixed the country since she helped her husband drug, rape, torture, videotape and kill two teenage girls and cause the death of her own sister. Throughout the trial and ever since, her eyes -- hard and icy under her wavy hair -- have stared regularly at Canada from newspaper boxes and television screens...

Homolka has been both analyzed and demonized. Web sites make competing offers for her head in murder or her hand in marriage...

...she has now served her entire sentence, which is highly unusual in Canada. But as her release date neared, prosecutors went to court and won "special conditions" on her release. She must report often to police, seek permission to travel, and may not have contact with anyone younger than 16. She is appealing. [italics mine]

Final Fantasy Live mp3s up

For all ye innumerable Final Fantasy fantasizers, Owen's host is working again, and the live Illusion Song and If I Were A Carp links, posted on his Rel page, work. By the way, the entire Music Gallery performance is here, posted on 27 Jun by "fourlittlesongs." It's a YSI file, so hurry up and get yours. Track 5 is titled "unknown," - it's Illusion Song, unedited, with introductory crowd noise.

War is Not a Joyride

Clearly, war is alive. But "dead" is what war equates to. It's not just a joyride in the sky, as we might imagine when we watch bombers engaging targets on Fox or CNN. Pajo reminds us of that in his ironic "War is Dead:"

fasten your seat belt
buckle down tight
wicked little pony
putting up a fight
we can hitch a ride on a saturday night away
war is dead! war is dead!

Pajo - War is Dead (mp3)

From Pajo (2005).


According to the Crimetime Orchestra page at Jazzaway,

"Bjørnar Andresen passed away only 3 weeks after this sessions and it is his last recorded performance. Bjørnar was an icon in the Norwegian jazz community, and his high spirit and inspiration will be missed by many."

Here's Life is a Beautiful Monster, Part 1 (mp3), which is "an exiting mix of grooves, free improvisation, electric noise and dynamic interplay."

Both mp3s taken from The Wire Tapper 13.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Arcade Fire Video - Wake Up (Live in Barcelona, 20 May 2005)

Put everything down, right now, and watch this, standing up. It's a high quality video, taken at the stage. You are there.

Arcade Fire - Wake Up (Live in Barcelona, 20 May 2005) (mpg)

Friday Live, one more

Oops, forgot one.

Beth Orton - She Cries Your Name (Live in Stockholm, 1999)

Friday Live

Two Belle and Sebastian tracks from a KEXP in-studio performance, and two tracks from the Pixies, Live in Spokane, 4-24-04 (CD#672).

Belle and Sebastian:
Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying
Step Into My Office


Get the live KEXP version of Belle & Sebastian's "If She Wants Me" and many other performances on Live at KEXP Vol. 1 by pledging for their summer drive, here.