Monday, September 24, 2007

The National Lounge Act, 9-23-2007

The National, whose outstanding Boxer will be on every best-of-2007 list in just a couple of months, played an acoustic set for WOXY's Lounge Act yesterday. It should be up for download on very soon. Meanwhile, here is a sample.

The National - WOXY Lounge Act (9-23-2007)(mp3s):
Apartment Store
You've Done It Again Virginia

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jesca Hoop - Live on KCRW, 9-19-2007

Jesca Hoop, with The Ditty Bops singing background, played 6 songs for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic yesterday.

This was a confident, sexy, powerful show, folks - a real treat. I was spellbound.

Jesca Hoop with The Ditty Bops - Live on KCRW, 9-19-2007 (mp3s):

Intelligent Tactile
Seed Of Wonder
Love And Love Again

Watch the cutefest and listen to the entire show with interview here.

Own Kismet

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nick Lowe, Live at the 9:30 Club, 17 Sep 2007

We spend our days making choices that define us, creating our histories as we stumble through our days. Today, you could go downloading a 5-minute track here, a 3-minute track there. Or you could download an entire solo concert by the legendary Nick Lowe, recorded at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, and hosted by NPR. Yeah, no-brainer. Spend the evening with Nick.

The setlist:

Set List
People Change
Soulful Wind
What's Shakin' on the Hill
Long Limbed Girl
Lately I've Let Things Slide
Has She Got A Friend
All Men Are Liars
I Trained Her to Love Me
Indian Queens
Cruel to Be Kind
Man That I've Become
Hope For Us All
Without Love
Rome Wasn't Built in a Day
Shelley My Love
I Knew the Bride (When She Use to Rock and Roll)
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?
Heart of the City
The Beast in Me

Own At My Age

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Final Fantasy memories.

You also heard Final Fantasy first here at the Smudge, back on the first of February of 2005, two days after his debut at the 9:30 Club, and well before the release of his debut album. I remember people in the crowd jockeying for position, and asking each other, "Have you ever heard of 'Final Fantasy'?" And the answer, "No, never heard of 'them.'" And then this frail androgynous blond fellow takes the stage with a violin, and the crowd expecting something artsy-fartsy, abstract, and frankly boring. And then he started playing, looping, in an intense state of concentration, and doing things never before done, and lo, it was glorious. The first "Holy Shit" and the first "Damn" exclamations came well before The Arcade Fire took the stage.

Anyway. Memories.

These days Owen Pallet touring and spending time with people like the public servants at La Blogotheque, "running and playing violin in the empty streets of Paris."

Watch the videos and download the mp4s here.


Enveloped in the tapestry.

I'm pretty sure you heard of Georgie James first here at the Smudge, back in April of 2006. The months since then have been kind to Georgie James, whose forthcoming Places is energetic pop magic with classic soul and jazz accents, but more importantly, you just can't listen to the album without singing along with Laura Burhenn's pitch perfection whilst air drumming. The songs from the Demos From Dance Place EP have more muscle on the album, with the guitar amped up a notch and more frequently soloed, and the drums attacking at every opportunity. Plus, there's this new treat, a song in which John Davis goes berserk on the drums, and what might be a guitar nod to Flock of Seagulls.

Georgie James - Simplify (mp3)

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Truth In One Free Afternoon

The New Pornographers played three songs for KEXP on Friday. The only bad thing about the performance is that it multiplied my anticipation to see their live show, and I have to wait until the 26th of October. Listen to this acoustic version of My Rights Versus Yours. The vocal harmonies pop out just a little bit more than they do on the album version, and it might just confirm your suspicion that it's really a folk song in disguise.

A new empire in rags
The truth in one free afternoon

Under your wheels, the fits and starts
The time to dabble in the arts
To tease the packs of dogs in charge
But kid it's all wasted on me

The New Pornographers - My Rights Versus Yours (Live Acoustic, KEXP, 9-14-2007) (mp3)

Own Challengers

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Animal Collective - Live on KEXP, 9-14-2007

You see Animal Collective just about everywhere lately, thanks to the sonic adventure that is their latest album, Strawberry Jam. Yesterday they played an enthralling short set on KEXP.

Animal Collective - Live on KEXP, 9-14-2007 (mp3s):

Leaf House/Who Could Win A Rabbit

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What Will You Do When You Come Across A Wall Of Death?

Once again, we plead our readers to join the fight against "twee." On this occasion, we rally 'round Dax Riggs, who leads us here into battle, with a blaring ax. No dancing, no blips, no bleeps, only blood.

Dax Riggs - Wall Of Death (mp3)
Dax Riggs - Living Is Suicide (mp3)

From We Sing of Only Blood or Love

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Battles Sound Check @ Crocodile Cafe

Last week, Battles had a sound-check performance recorded for KEXP at Seattle's Crocodile Cafe in front of a small audience of fans only. Listen to it here (mp3).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Way Home Is Going To Be A Hell Of A Ride

Surfing MySpaces is rarely poetic, but I paused tonight as I clicked on profiles, and noted that almost all of them said "Last Login: 9/11/2007", and wondered how many "last logins" were on 9/11/01. Was myspace even around then? I don't remember.

Anyway, there's something about the anniversary of 9/11 that makes me yearn for the introspective, and I know that the Danish songwriter Jacob Faurholt probably didn't intend to have his song interpreted the way I did today, but mix lyrics of reminiscence with the memory of that moment, and the realization that nothing will ever be the same, and the grasping intimacy of the guitar, and you've got a recipe for a good emotional jolt, and the immediate reaction is to think that this song is manipulative, but then you realize that you've only manipulated yourself, and that the song has nothing at all to do with 9/11, and finally notice that you've been thinking on one long sentence, but that's okay today, because for the last 6 years, today has been one long stream of consciousness.

Jacob Faurholt - Back Home (mp3)

Hurrah Hurrah will be out in November on Danish label Quartermain Records.

The Ditty Bops, Live on WNKU, 9-3-2007

The Ditty Bops played these three new songs for WNKU on Sept 3rd:

Skinny Bones
We Like It (Because We Do)
Pack Rat

Listen to the entire show, including interview, here (mp3).

Not sure about the title of the second song, but you'll find it on their forthcoming album, which has already been recorded and is waiting release. The third song is available on their limited-edition EP, Pack Rat, which you can buy here, along with The Ditty Bops 2008 Save The World Bikini Calendar. The band proclaimed the first song as "exclusive" to WNKU, but here they are, caught on YouTube, playing it for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Psychedelic Andean Cumbias

Juaneco Y Su Combo

The music on Barbès Records' The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru, out Sept 25th, has been described "Psychedelic Andean Surf Rock," and the genre, Chicha, reportedly got its name from "a fermented corn drink associated with pre-Columbian indigenous people in the region."

According to the Barbès site:

Chicha started out in the late 60’s, in the oil-boom cities of the Peruvian Amazon. Cumbias Amazonicas, as they were first known, were loosely inspired by Colombian cumbias but incorporated the distinctive pentatonic scales of Andean melodies, some Cuban guajiras, and the psychedelic sounds of surf guitars, wah-wah pedals, farfisa organs and moog synthesizers.

Chicha, which is named after a corn-based liquor favored by the Incas, quickly spread to Lima. It became the music of choice of the mostly indigenous new migrant population – mixing even further with rock, Andean folklore and Peruvian creole music.

Curious to know what it sounds like?

Yeah, I thought so. Prepare for a potato sack full of fun.

Juaneco Y Su Combo - Ya Se Ha Muerto Mi Abuelo (mp3)
Los Mirlos - Muchachita Del Oriente (mp3)

Los Mirlos

Listen to more on the Barbes site. By the way, Barbes are the same fine folks who gave us Slavic Soul Party.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Camera Obscura on Fair Game

Camera Obscura played these 4 songs for Faith Salie in the Fair Game studio yesterday (mp3s):

The Last Song
Tears For Affairs
Baby Don't Go
Let's Get Out Of This Country

Listen to the broadcast with interview here.

Own Let's Get Out of This Country.

It's Really Your Guts That Let You Breathe.

Here's Cheyenne's new song, The Whale (mp3), from their forthcoming album, The Whale. You'll hear whale-ish sounds, hand claps, simple piano and guitar melodies, a good dose of feedback, and a beautiful ending:

All that stuff about me being sorry
All the bikes you rode into the lake
All the letters I threw into the dumpster
All the houses flattened in the wake
All the kites we flew above the forest
All the haunted spirits coming clean
Sit down and listen as they tell you the truth:
That it's really your guts that let you breathe
It's really your guts that let you breathe

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Way I'm Sleepin', My Back End Sure Gets Tired

Lucinda Williams is performing on KCRW tomorrow. I'll be standing by for that one.

Meanwhile, check out a young Lucinda singing the blues classic, Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor (mp3), which is all kinds of excellent, but still, I think I'm going to go listen to some Mississippi John Hurt right after this post. It's just easier to imagine John Hurt actually using a pallet on the floor.

From the same Smithsonian compilation, here's the brilliantly warped and ebullient The Woman Is Killing Me (mp3), which Sonny Terry and Friends should have titled (Hooray, Hooray!) The Woman Is Killing Me.

Spend wisely. Own the 22 great blues songs from Classic Blues from Smithsonian Folkways, Vol. 2for 7 - 12 bucks.
There seem to be some problems with the files I posted yesterday, so let's try this again.

Cat Power - (All I Have To Do Is) Dream (Everly Brothers)(Promo)(mp3)

Jeff Buckley - Corpus Christi Carol (Live KCRW 28 Jul 1994)(mp3)

Elliott Smith - Angeles (Live KCRW May 1997)(mp3)

Radiohead - Subterranean Homesick Alien (Live KCRW 4 Apr 1995)(mp3)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


So, what radio listening could be better than the hours of archived programming that KCRW played in celebration of Morning Becomes Eclectic's 30th Anniversary? Not much. I listened to the whole thing, and it was magnificent. There is one thing, though, that surpasses the program - the new archive pages on the special MBE at 30 website. In addition to being able to stream the entire program originally aired on Sept 3rd, you can also listen to interviews, live performances, and view interview & session photographs of artists including Nina Simone, Ravi Shankar, Beck, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Tom Waits, and all the other stuff you're familiar with that came AFTER 1998.

Here are a few of the special things KCRW aired on Monday:

Cat Power - (All I Have To Do Is) Dream (Everly Brothers)(Promo)(mp3)

Jeff Buckley - Corpus Christi Carol (Live KCRW 28 Jul 1994)(mp3)

Elliott Smith - Angeles (Live KCRW May 1997)(mp3)

Radiohead - Subterranean Homesick Alien (Live KCRW 4 Apr 1995)(mp3)

Want to keep listening? Save KCRW's Music Library.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Kid Soul

Two disruptive things have happened since my last post: I've had surgery, and my iPod died. Both have given me cause to think more than usual, but Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind, which is one of the best books I've read, ever, has saved me from doing too much of that.

And I always have my laptop and portable CD player for the music.

Here are a couple of songs from Numero's latest offering, Home Schooled: The ABCs of Kid Soul. It's a compilation of rare kid soul & funk from the early 70's. What I hear in these young voices is the belief that they're going to be the next Jackson 5, but on their own terms, the faith that their television faces will be coming into the living rooms of Americans everywhere, their songs played on radio stations worldwide. In other words, the knowledge that real soon, everything is going to be better. Wonder where they are now.

Promise - I'm Not Ready For Love (mp3)
Eight Minutes - Here's Some Dances (mp3)