Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Take them bowling.

In the spirit of keeping things heavy, deep, and gravely serious, here's a profound earworm from Camper Van Beethoven, who I listened to a lot back in college, in my what-else-is-there-to-do days. Once it's in there, there's no getting rid of it.

Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling (mp3)

Taken from Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty

Monday, January 26, 2009

TV On The Radio - Heroes (Bowie)

Posted at Stereogum just a few hours ago.

And here's Arcade Fire playing it in Cleveland, last March.

Tuatara & The Minus 5 Live on KEXP 10 Dec 2008

Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Barrett Martin, and Dave Carter in the KEXP studio to perform 4 songs: The Old Carving Knife, Missionary Death Song, Rage On Regardless, Ambulance Dance Hall

Download here.

Andrew Bird - Fitz & Dizzyspells

I spent this weekend with Andrew Bird's Noble Beast , lost in its lyrical and harmonic density, carried over the craggy cliffs in wild euphoric bursts of violin, whistles, and other surprises hidden around and between troubling verses. Grounded, groundless, dizzying.

Andrew Bird - Fitz & Dizzyspells (mp3)

Andrew Bird widget by 6L & Daxii

Also, check out this article on Andrew Bird from the NY Times Magazine. Excerpt:

Andrew Bird hates rehearsing. He counts on the sense of peril that he gets onstage — that feeling that everything can unravel in an instant — to keep him inside his music and prevent him from succumbing to self-doubt. So last month, when Bird was preparing to go on tour with his new backing band, he decided that instead of practicing the songs from his new album, “Noble Beast,” they would play two surprise shows at the Hideout, a working-class-bar-cum-indie-rock-haven in a deserted industrial neighborhood in his hometown, Chicago.

It was a ridiculously small venue for Bird. In September, he drew some 13,000 people to the open-air auditorium in Chicago’s Millennium Park. The Hideout’s official seating capacity is listed at 73, though a few hours before the doors opened one of the bar’s owners told me, only half-jokingly, that the actual number depends on who’s onstage. “When Andrew plays,” she said, “we can squeeze in a lot more because so many of them are skinny girls with glasses.”

Friday, January 23, 2009

M. Ward - To Save Me

On Hold Time,M. Ward explores individual spirituality, philosophy, mortality, love, forgiveness, and the sweep of time.

That's all.

The usual. But in addition to the usual universal themes, and the familiar techniques in his unique songwriting style, there's a new swagger in his songs, a new danceability to them. Maybe his collaboration with Zooey Deschanel sparked something in his creative center. I know it's early to start naming best-of's for 2009, but of all of this year's releases so far, and there have been some good ones already, I'm stuck on this one.

Here's a song that I imagine the great Daniel Johnston would appreciate.

M. Ward - To Save Me (mp3)

I'll be seeing him at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia on Feb 20th (one of the few U.S. shows that is not sold out), with the Vivian Girls opening. How good is that going to be. If you'll be there too, let me know.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tone Loc's Loc'ed After Dark Gets Deluxe Treatment

That's right, on January 27th, Delicious Vinyl (thanks guys) will release the Deluxe Digital Edition of Tone Loc's classic, Loc-ed After Dark, with "Wild Thing," "Funky Cold Medina," and six rare bonus tracks...who saw this coming?? Not me. I'm thinking, though, that it would be even more delicious in vinyl.

Tone Loc - Wild Thing (Moguai Remix)(mp3)
***NOTE: Link removed after receiving a takedown notice. This track was noted as approved for posting in the promotional e-mail, with an "approved" link. Gotta love it.***



From press release:

MySpace Music, the world's premiere online music portal, is proud to announce the world exclusive of Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the 3rd album from the band Franz Ferdinand. Starting today, January 22nd, MySpace users across the world will be able to stream the highly-anticipated album for free, giving fans a chance to preview it before the official release on January 27.

For more on Franz Ferdinand and to stream Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, visit their MySpace Music profile at http://www.myspace.com/franzferdinand.

Lizzy Strikes Again

The skull mirror. Nice touch.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

REM Live at Tyrone's, Athens, Georgia, 4-10-1981

A little context here: 11 Days before this show, President Reagan was shot by 25-year-old John Hinckley, the son of a wealthy oil exec, to impress Jodie Foster.

This live performance of Rockville has none of the drunken twang of the album version. Or should we say that the album version is nowhere near as much fun as this one?

There She Goes Again (Velvet Underground)
Little Girl (Syndicate of Sound)
Don't Go Back To Rockville

Also, here's Syndicate of Sound's version of Little Girl:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009



Sign me up! School of Seven Bells press release:

If School of Seven Bells (Benjamin Curtis from the Secret Machines and the twin Deheza sisters from On! Air! Library!)' full-length debut, Alpinisms, is divided between two stylistic imprints - one consisting of heavenly drones and soaring melodies, the other built upon tribal beats and hypnotic, incantatory vocals - then "Iamundernodisguise," the album's second single, is most definitely the latter. Ghostly International will release School of Seven Bells' "Iamundernodisguise" on 7" vinyl and digital download on February 17th.

A sinister electronic calypso marked by ping-ponging percussion and one of the Deheza sisters' slinkier melodies, "Iamundernodisguise" teases out School of Seven Bells' darker side within the parameters of a concise, catchy pop song. Repetition is the key here, as the Dehezas sing breathy, cryptic promises ("I am neither walker nor sleeper / I am neither sister, brother, son, nor daughter") over and over as the beat goes on. B-side "Trance Figure (Nobody Remix)" takes the Dehezas' already-detached vocals into even more foreign territory with the help of West Coast producer Nobody.

In the wake of a recent cross-country tour with M83, School of Seven Bells will be joining Fujiya & Miyagi for a set of US dates in February before heading to Europe for the next few months. Alpinisms will also be available February 24th on 180-gram limited edition vinyl.

School of Seven Bells Tour Dates:
1/16 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge (self-titled Magazine party w/Free Blood, The Juan MacLean)
2/06 Wellesley, MA - Wellesely College
2/07 Princeton, NJ - Terrace F. Club
2/11 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry w/Fujiya & Miyagi
2/12 Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge w/Fujiya & Miyagi
2/13 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick w/Fujiya & Miyagi
2/14 Alfred, NY - Alfred University Knight Club w/Fujiya & Miyagi
2/15 Boston, MA - The Paradise w/Fujiya & Miyagi
2/18 Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero w/Fujiya & Miyagi
2/19 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club w/Fujiya & Miyagi
2/23 Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
2/24 Glasgow, Scotland - Captain's Rest
2/25 Leeds, UK - Cockpit
2/26 London, UK - Cargo
2/27 Manchester, UK - Night & Day
2/28 Bristol, UK - Start the Bus
3/01 Brighton, UK - Audio
3/04 Brussels, Belgium - AB Club
3/05 Paris, Ile-de-France - Le Point Ephemere
3/07 Munster, Germany - Gleis 22
3/08 Berlin, Germany - Bang Bang Club
3/09 Hamburg, Germany - Molotow
3/10 Cologne, Germany - Studio 672
3/12 Vienna, Austria - Flex
3/13 Munich, Germany - Atomic Cafe
3/14 Milan, Italy - La Casa

The Walkmen on KCRW.

Video up now.

Neko Case - Blog for Charity

Neko Case - People Got A Lotta Nerve (mp3)

Yes, I know that this song, the first single from Neko Case's forthcoming Middle Cyclone, has been out there for a week, which is like an mp3 blog year. Still, I'm getting in on it too, because for every blog that posts the song and/or iLike user who adds it to their profile, Neko Case and ANTI- will make a cash donation to Best Friends Animal Society.

The promotion runs up to February 3, 2009. Five dollars will be donated for every blog post and one dollar for every user of iLike that adds the song to his/her profile. More details here.

Today's Spam: Kiti S., who needs loving and true.

Subject: Looking for a nice guy, not a hearbreaker
Saturday, January 17, 2009 3:36 PM
From: "Kat S"
To: canowine@yahoo.com

My dear friend

I may not get to see you as often as I like. I may not get to hold you in
my arms all through the night. But deep in my heart I truly know, you're
the one that I love, and I can't let you go http://[url deleted]
I have not been dating for some time and though I am looking into it, I will be
somewhat particular. My first love is traveling and I love boating and water
activity. I've lost my life to bad circumstance, and I am learning to live all
over again possibly as a much more appreciative and better person. Family values,
morally correct, trustworthy, meaningful, loving and true are what I need.

Looking forward to hear from you
Kiti S

Ida Maria on KCRW

The rising Norwegian rock star was on Morning Becomes Eclectic last Monday. This young lady has some serious passion, and you'll see it come through below. Her album is called Fortress Around My Heart.

Also, the first song:
Ida Maria - Morning Light (mp3)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa reflects on the social and political dimensions of skin color

In the Washington Post Magazine Obamanauguration issue.


Daddy Red's left eye was blue. His right eye was gray. They said in his youth that his hair had been blondish. It was still straight. His real name was Wesley Pittman, and he was my step-grandfather, a white-looking black man married to my black paternal grandmother, Elsie. People walked big circles around him because he was known to have killed a man when he was 20. The story went something like this: Both men were on horseback, circling each other with drawn knives, dusk falling on Red's pale skin and the other man's black skin. By the time the sun set, only Red was sitting upright in the saddle.

"Look a man in the eyes. Especially a white man. Always look him in the eyes."

"Yes, sir."

"Something else."

We held each other's gaze. He drew the words out of himself.

"Never work -- for no man -- who can't treat you with respect."

His words hung in the air. They felt like a rule or law that I had to obey. Now, words from an overheard story began to make sense. I could hear Mama Elsie saying, "My daddy don't work for no white man."

Today's Spam Message is from Sabina Love, a quiet and sincer girl who loves honesty and truth..

I just got this in my Yahoo inbox:

I am sabina by name a quiet and sincer girl. I love
honesty and truth. I trust people very much. I like
nature quiet walks in the parks holding hands
listening to the whispering breeze and the songs of
the birds; admiring the smiling eyes of my lover, I
hope to meet my true love, I will give him all
myself completely.i wait to hear from you.i whish
you will know me well and sew me on picture.i hope
to meet you soon,

Friday, January 16, 2009

David Byrne sounds like the future.

Where is David Byrne NOT these days? All the better for us.

David Byrne & Dirty Projectors - Knotty Pine (mp3)

From the Red Hot album Dark Was The Night, which ALSO includes, among others, Sufjan Stevens, Feist with Grizzly Bear, Feist with Ben Gibbard, the Decemberists, Grizzly Bear, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, The National, Bright Eyes, Spoon, The New Pornographers, Antony, The Books with Jose Gonzalez, Blonde Redhead, Bon Iver, Andrew Bird, My Brightest Diamond, Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio and Riceboy Sleeps (Jonsi from Sigur Ros).

Kyle Andrews Feels So Real, But.

I don't know, something about digital music that begs questions of an existential nature. & then, the whole business of digipop, a double illusion. It's so bright, but the undercurrents are so unintentionally unsettling. Maybe it's just me, or maybe I'm an illusion, too. And couple this with thoughts of the Hudson River crash today, with people coming out of the plane on the water - you half expect Jack, Hurley, Kate, and the rest of the Oceanic Six to show up on a TV interview next.

Kyle Andrews - Naked In New York (mp3)
Kyle Andrews - Sushi (mp3)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Daily Flashback: Darkwing Duck. Let's Get Dangerous.

Remember DD?

Alexandra Hope

You really can't argue with that, now can you. No, but the real turn-on is her music, in which bare, agressive, and raw arrangements both contrast and blend with her Spector-popgirl delivery. It's a sexy push-pull effect, the masculine/feminine duality, like PJ Harvey but with more sweetness, and each song leaves you wanting more.

Alexandra Hope - Invisible Sunday (mp3)

Download the feminine, raw Whatever You Want here.

Jolie Holland - Live on WXPN 1-13-2008

On some days, everything sounds the same: eh. Like today. Until now, that is - I'm listening, right now, to Jolie Holland playing some songs for WXPN, and it's gorgeous, different without trying.

Listen here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Viva Voce to Unveil New Record Soon

Viva Voce returns as a 4-piece (Anita & Kevin Robinson, plus Evan Railton and Corinna Repp)with a new album due out in the coming months.

A few details from vivavoce.com:

1) Viva Voce has a new record on the way in 2009. It's a doozie! We're putting the final bits on it now and are excited to let it be heard. Its definitely a heavy mover and a bit more angular than "Get Yr Blood Sucked Out". I dunno, you be the judge. Will post release info when we get it.

2) Viva Voce has a tour in March! We've spent the better part of last year writing and recording, and we've been busting to hit the road again. So we shall do so with a vengeance! We're heading down to SXSW with our friend Rafter en tow, then make our way back to Portland.

The Daily Flashback Returns: Pepsi Commercial with Michael Jackson and Alfonso Ribeiro, 1984

Alfonso Ribeiro went on to become Carlton Banks in "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

Before he was Carlton, though, he let aspiring breakers and poppers in suburbs everywhere behind his curtain:

Thelonious sounds like an adjective.

But we all know that he's either a verb or a noun, and sometimes, both.

Thelonious Monk Quartet - Rhythm-A-Ning/Epistrophy (Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen, 17 April '66)(mp3)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Insound Free Digital Mixtape

Sign up for Insound's newsletters, which are indispensable anyway, and get a free digital mixtape with songs from:

A.C. Newman
Matt & Kim
Volcano Suns
Golden Triangle
J. Tillman
Of Montreal
Cotton Jones
Funeral Party
Cut Off Your Hands
Goblin Cock
Lisa Hannigan
Fiction Family
Blue Giant
Loney Dear

This promo is available for one week only, so sign up now if you want it.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Okkervil River - Pop Lie (Live on Letterman 1-7-2008)

Since everything has already been said about this great band, here's a little bit of Okkervil River trivia that you might not know, and you probably won't find anywhere else. The letters of the band name, rearranged, spell "I love Rikerkrv." Eerie but true.

Okkervil River - Pop Lie (Live on Letterman 1-7-2008)(mp3)

And the performance on YouTube (Via Catfish Vegas):

From The Stand Ins

New Eleni Mandell, "Artificial Fire," out Feb 17th

Smudge fave Eleni Mandell collaborated with another Smudge fave, Inara George (of The Bird and The Bee), on her forthcoming album, Artificial Fire. Clearly, it's going to be marvelous.

Eleni Mandell - Artificial Fire (mp3)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Rosebuds, Live on KEXP (2009)

The Rosebuds played KEXP a few days ago - the live in-studio set is available as a podcast. Get it here (mp3).



BuffetLibre's Rewind Tour 2009 is up for download now, and woe to the deprived mp3 downloader that misses out on this. A big surprise for me: Cherielynn Westrich, formerly of The Rentals, is in a Canadians cover of Moroder's "Neverending Story." Also - Starfucker covers Cyndi Lauper, Headlights dress up XTC in casiotone, Botticellis tame Whitesnake (yes, Whitesnake) into dream folk, and the cover that got me there in the first place - Au Revoir Simone's contemplative treatment of ELO's "Here Is The News." If you get where I'm going with all this, yeah, it's like a big 86-song compilation of sexy, a recession compilation if there ever was one, and bonus - it sounds way better than free.

Au Revoir Simone - Here Is The News (mp3)
Starfucker - Girls Just Want To Have Fun (mp3)
Canadians feat. Cherielynn Westrich - Neverending Story (mp3)
The Botticellis - Here I Go Again (mp3)
Headlights - Making Plans For Nigel (mp3)

Get the other 80.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The People's Choice.

Frank Brunson & The People's Choice want to break in whatever new media player you received for the holidays, with funk style. The funk is truly classic - in 1971, "I Likes To Do It" peaked at #38 on the "U.S. Pop Singles" chart, and #9 on the "U.S. Black Singles" chart. "Big Ladies' Man" made neither, but still charmed the hell out of me. Both of these were taken from the first Philadelphia Roots compilation (Soul Jazz), which is scarce on both CD and vinyl. Happy hunting.

The People's Choice - I Likes To Do It (mp3)
The People's Choice - Big Ladies' Man (mp3)

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009: Post #1 - On Change.

The official buzzword of 2008 was "change." "Hope" was just as commonplace early in the year, the first word's inseparable partner, but before summer gave way to fall, it started to fade, as the new global economic crisis started to set in the collective consciousness, transforming from story lines into everyday realities, as housing values plummeted, credit card rates rose, people were laid off, jobs disintegrated, and businesses locked their doors for good. And so, in 2009, the change that we may desire most is a few extra quarters jingling in our pockets.

What will all of this mean for the arts, and for music? Will people visit fewer exhibits, buy fewer CDs, and hang with friends at the local bar rather than pay 15 bucks to see a live band? The last recession, for better or worse, spawned a flannel revolution, with Kurt Cobain in his dingy striped sweater and a tattooed cheerleader as catalysts for the ascent of grunge, and an indie movement that spawned thrift store chic as a fashion trend. Both of these movements were, at their essence, middle fingers held up to 80's greed, materialism, and flashing neon lies.

Maybe this year will yield a deconstruction, and creative reconstruction, of the arts, music, and mass media. The forecast for mass consumption of media can't be good, and in the absence of monetary support, things fall apart quickly. Maybe this year will see an audience rejection of pointless reality TV shows, and magazines with instant celebrities-for-no-reason-than-their-zip-codes will sit on shelves collecting dust. Maybe we'll see actual music videos on MTV again. Maybe people will listen to the radio more. Better yet, maybe the kids, whose parents have just cancelled their cable and killed their high-speed internet connection and thus their online gaming portals and myspaces, will pick up cheap guitars, start bands, and become the new middle finger. All one can do is hope.

In the meantime, here's a farewell song from the neon 80's.

Cyndi Lauper - Money Changes Everything (Live, 1984 FM Broadcast)(mp3)

Also, here's a Tom Gray (The Brains, the songwriter) performance of the song: