Friday, April 29, 2005

Eddie Kendricks - Keep On Truckin' (DJ Spinna Remix) mp3 From Motown Remixed

Sometimes I post songs that I'm not so sure anyone else will care for.

Other times I know that you'll say "oh, shit yeah!", like you will when you hear this remix of a 1973 Detroit classic.

Eddie Kendricks - Keep On Truckin' (DJ Spinna remix) (mp3) from Motown Remixed.

DO NOT MISS the Quicktime video on the making of Motown Remixed, featuring interviews with the DJs who had the privilege of remixing the classics.

New Order Live on Kimmel 4-27-2005 - Love Will Tear Us Apart (video - avi)

This was New Order's second performance on Kimmel on Wednesday - it was great until it was rudely interrupted by the donkey.

New Order - Love Will Tear Us Apart (Live on Kimmel 4-27-2005): video (avi - right click, save as)

LCD Soundsystem Live on Letterman 4-27-2005 - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House (mp3 & avi video)

Wednesday night was obviously a fantastic night for music performances on the late shows. Earlier I posted the New Order and the Raveonettes, but my favorite of the three was the LCD Soundsystem's performance on Letterman.

LCD Soundsystem: Daft Punk is Playing at My House (Live on Letterman 4-27-2005)
video (avi - right click/save as)

Raveonettes - Love In a Trashcan - live on Conan - video and mp3

Rock hotness.

avi (rt click-save as)

New Order - Crafty (Live on Kimmel 4-27-2005) mp3 and video

New Order performed live on Kimmel Wednesday night. They sounded great, but they were a little bit painful to watch. The skipping has simply got to stop.

From their new album, here's Crafty (Live on Kimmel 4-27-2005) mp3, avi (rt click, save as)

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Comas Video - Invisible Drugs, plus Bad Connexion and Radio mp3s

I got my Comas e-mail today. It had the link to this neat little video for Invisible Drugs.

Also, today they posted the mp3 for Bad Connexion on their website. It was previously available exclusively on the DVD that came with Conductor. And check out Radio, a gorgeous song on the Teenage Fanclub tribute, 'Is This Music' (2002).

Ben Folds - Landing (Live on Conan 4-26-2005) - mp3 and video

For you Ben Folds fans out there, here's his performance of Landing from this Tuesday's Conan.

Ben Folds - Landing (Live on Conan 4-26-2005): mp3, video (68 MB avi; right click - save as) Update - video file is corrupt, mp3 works fine. I'll try to fix it...

Hyperbolic Chamber: Best Invention Ever

Gustaveson unveils the amazing new hyperbolic chamber.

From the Onion news story, Amazing New Hyperbolic Chamber Greatest Invention In The History Of Mankind Ever:

"Hyperbole researchers have arrived at, without possibility of argument or refutation, the single greatest moment in all of creation, now and forevermore," said the project's lead scientist, Dr. Lloyd Gustaveson, activating the hyperbolic chamber's gazillion-ultra-watt semantic resonator at a gala launch party Monday. "The divine flame kindled by our new hyperbolic chamber will cast its light down through the centuries, making the Promethean fire that brought forth life on earth seem like a brief and guttering spark. Behold—we recast the cosmos in the image of the ultimate!


...Popular Science quickly placed the chamber on the fold-out cover of its next issue, which reads, "FUCKING AWESOME!!! THE BALLS-OUT H.C. IS 40 TIMES BETTER THAN SEX... AND COUNTING!!!"


Although it is difficult to find critics of the EHC-1 Alpha, those who oppose the machine do so vocally. The project's most prominent critic is Sandia National Laboratories' Dr. Owen Comstock, who argues that hyperbolic-chamber research has little social value and that federal funds would be better spent on his project, the high-energy, lowest-common-denominator-inductive Supercolloquial Mundane Adjectival And Onomatopoeic Accentuator.

"EHC-1 Alpha?" Comstock said. "Pfft. More like the craptastic crapobolic crapulator of crappity-crap-crap. Blarf. In addition, it is ugly as ugly can get, raises several safety issues, and is so freaking stupid I had to puke at how stupid it is.

It's Over, Tom Cruise

Katie Holmes: Tom's bed view

For so long, I've defended you, stood up for you, told people that they should look past your ego and identity when they watch the good movies you're in, but you know, this is the straw that broke the cano's back. We know you can have practically any woman you desire, but God, man, we don't want you to go and prove it.

Please, Katie, tell me this is a career move.

Eels - Railroad Man (Live on Leno - 4-26-2005) mp3 and video

Here's the Eels' stirring performance of Railroad Man from Tuesday night's Leno. From the just-released Blinking Lights and Other Revelations "all about" page, E (Mark Oliver Everett) says: "I recently took a train trip across America, and it was clear that these are the dying days of rail travel. I got friendly with some of the old men who still work on the trains and I noticed that I had a similar sense of displacement in today's music industry."

Eels - Railroad Man (Live on Leno 4-26-2005): mp3, movie (73.2 MB avi; rt click, save as)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Anne Summers mp3s: Cul-de-Sac of Pain and Judy Jones: There's Going to be Blood in the Valley!

Rewind to 1997: D.C.'s Anne Summers created some of the funniest music of the year on The Dandy. Quirky, witty, and sarcastic, Anne Summers charmed me with 13 solid tracks of guitar-based indie power pop, and I still listen to them the way I would the Ramones. There's an over-generous review of The Dandy here.

Cul de Sac of Pain is a hilarious song about a suburban gang from Leonardtown, borne out of the bored lives of "Joey" and "Matthew," and Judy Jones, their ode to personal decay and death.

Anne Summers mp3s:

Cul-de-Sac of Pain
Judy Jones

Bruce Lee Band mp3s - Go Feet Go and Forward and Back

So you left ska behind in the 90's.

I dare you not to like these songs.

Bruce Lee Band mp3s from the Beautiful World EP (Asian Man Records, April 26, 2005):

Go Feet Go
Forward and Back

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Jackson 5 - I Want You Back (DJ Z-Trip Remix) from Motown Remixed

Just when you thought you never needed to hear this song were DEAD WRONG!!

Before you scoff, did you know that the original Jackson 5 song is #120 on Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs Of All Time? Now you know.

I still hear you scoffing. Did you also know that, according to RS, "'I Want You Back' was the song that introduced Motown to the futuristic funk beat of Sly Stone and James Brown"? That it was sampled in Jay-Z's "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)."?

Still you scoff. You feel that the age of remixes and mash-ups are indicative of a culture that suffers from a lack of originality, and the companies releasing these records stink of greed.

Well, we're posting this anyway, because just as you can't judge a book by its cover (as the cliche goes), or a movie without having seen it, you can say nothing about a song until you've listened. Who knows, you just might find yourself having fun with it. From the forthcoming Motown Remixed, out May 24.

Jackson 5 - I Want You Back (DJ Z-Trip Remix)

Hear more of Motown Remixed here.

How Reality TV Makes You Smarter

Steven Johnson explains the Sleeper Curve in Watching TV Makes You Smarter, from Sunday's NY Times Magazine.

Excerpts from the article:

For decades, we've worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a path declining steadily toward lowest-common-denominator standards, presumably because the ''masses'' want dumb, simple pleasures and big media companies try to give the masses what they want...the exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more cognitively demanding, not less...Beneath the violence and the ethnic stereotypes, another trend appears: to keep up with entertainment like ''24,'' you have to pay attention, make inferences, track shifting social relationships. This is what I call the Sleeper Curve: the most debased forms of mass diversion -- video games and violent television dramas and juvenile sitcoms -- turn out to be nutritional after all.

Consider the cognitive demands that televised narratives place on their viewers. With many shows that we associate with ''quality'' entertainment -- ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' ''Murphy Brown,'' ''Frasier'' -- the intelligence arrives fully formed in the words and actions of the characters on-screen. They say witty things to one another and avoid lapsing into tired sitcom cliches, and we smile along in our living rooms, enjoying the company of these smart people. But assuming we're bright enough to understand the sentences they're saying, there's no intellectual labor involved in enjoying the show as a viewer. You no more challenge your mind by watching these intelligent shows than you challenge your body watching ''Monday Night Football.'' The intellectual work is happening on-screen, not off.

But another kind of televised intelligence is on the rise. Think of the cognitive benefits conventionally ascribed to reading: attention, patience, retention, the parsing of narrative threads. Over the last half-century, programming on TV has increased the demands it places on precisely these mental faculties.

Instead of a show's violent or tawdry content, instead of wardrobe malfunctions or the F-word, the true test should be whether a given show engages or sedates the mind...If your kids want to watch reality TV, encourage them to watch ''Survivor'' over ''Fear Factor.'' If they want to watch a mystery show, encourage ''24'' over ''Law and Order.'' If they want to play a violent game, encourage Grand Theft Auto over Quake. Indeed, it might be just as helpful to have a rating system that used mental labor and not obscenity and violence as its classification scheme for the world of mass culture.

Gee, I wonder if this guy is going to get any letters responding to this article.

I buy the premise that watching "dumb" TV will make you smarter - even some reality TV, where you can learn a good deal about competitive strategy and game theory. The danger of this article is that the already dense will will use it as ammunition to justify their couch-potato, obese, Homer Simpsonesque ways. There ought to be a concluding statement where the author recommends TV only if you are trading up from a less mentally engaging activity, such as, say, competitive tiddlywinks. If we want our kids to get smarter, and reap "cognitive benefits conventionally ascribed to reading: attention, patience, retention, the parsing of narrative threads," then conventional reading should be argued for, and not The Apprentice.

None of this applies to me. I have no illusions about the effect of my Fear Factor on my intellect. Sometimes you have to give the fat noodle a break. No way I'm giving up my hour of wet cleavage and blood drinking. Madame Bovary can wait until 9.

mp3: Elgar: III. Allegro Molto from Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61, Hilary Hahn, violin

We eschew conventional blogging wisdom. Witness the obnoxious logo mega-banner at the top of the page. The hyperlinks that don't open new windows. The lack of focus of our material, as we jump between movies, magazine articles, random poetry and music, and within music, we hop from rock to blues to indie pop to jazz to electronic to classic funk & soul to whatever.

In keeping with that anti-tradition, today we feature a classical piece from the late-19th/early 20th century composer, Sir Edward William Elgar, channeled through the deft hand of Hilary Hahn. As you listen to the violin soothe you, then suddenly wail through rapid-fire scales, you'll hear echoes of Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, who Elgar was obviously influenced by. He clearly had access to future music, probably through psychic ability. It's a manic-depressive piece that seems to try to hold you and lose you at the same time. The only unfortunate thing is that it clocks in at nearly 20 minutes, which is a ridiculous amount of time--almost an entire Ramones CD--and far too many notes for any one track.

It is, however, always time for hot babes who play violin. Hilary plays as though she sold her soul.

By the way, as all-over-the-map as we are, most of what we post is good shit, and we suspect that we're getting at something. We just haven't a clue what that something might be.

And sorry if you imagine Kirk Hammett playing guitar as you listen.

mp3: Elgar: III. Allegro Molto from Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61, Hilary Hahn, violin

Monday, April 25, 2005

Read This Post, You've Read Them All.

Download these songs. This movie was sentimental and trite. This is the view of the night sky from our cabin in the mountains. Vote Kerry. Vote Bush. Vote Nader. Don’t Vote. I self disclose/In poetic form/On my blog. Murakami this, Murakami that. Catch our free show at the coffee shop. Work bites. Finals bite. The concert rocked and I was smashed here are some blurry pictures. Aren’t my kids cute. Ain’t my dog cute. Britney, Jessica, Lindsey, Brad and Jen. Superman Batman. Good porn here. Jesus saves. Religion kills. Evidence that the right is right. My new tat is hot, here’s a pic :-). Evidence that the left is right. Win and help me win a free iPod. The pho is really tasty here. Recipe. Arcade Fire. Interpol. Which Friends character are you? I slept with two random guys last night, I was so wasted, gotta go cuz I need to shower. Check out my buddy’s blog. My date sucked. Currently reading. Currently listening to. This perv is stalking me online. Wtf? Lol! Use this script to fix your bug. Dig this gadget. Dig this trailer. Musings, ramblings, rants, meanderings, thoughts. Like our design? Let us help you design yours. I painted this last year at the lake. Here’s a really good article about x. Quote from. I feel this way about this news. My arthritis has let up a bit, but the irritable bowel syndrome is destroying my life. Check out these stills. He left me this morning. Maybe I’ll kill myself. I’m going to update soon, I promise. I’m buying these new releases. I’m trying this kinky new move. Did I miss something?

Four Tet mp3s - Joy and Sun Drums and Soil

In Four Tet's highly anticipated Everything Ecstatic, out May 23rd, Keiran Hebden lays the organic beats down in blizzards at times, and in peaceful flurries at others.

The Smudge, of course, gives you the blizzards.

Four Tet mp3s:
Sun Drums and Soil mp3

This is the perfect mp3 situation.

right click, save as.

4-25-05 7:45 AM: Hints sometimes don't work as well as you want them to. It's an mp3, people, linked to the patch above, from Weezer's forthcoming album. Don't let that first Beverly Hills track scare you away. It gets way better than that.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Nina Simone Verve Remixed - The Homemade EP

Hi, fellow Nina Simone admirers. I present the homemade Nina Simone Verve Remixed EP, featuring all of her remixes from the three compilations. Somebody had to do it. You're welcome, or if you're a Simone purist, my apologies. Gee, I guess this means I'm going to have to make myself a Sarah Vaughan one, too...

From Verve Remixed 3:
Little Girl Blue (Postal Service Remix)
Lilac Wine (The Album Leaf Remix)

From Verve Remixed 2:
Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat Heavenly House Mix)
Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair (Jaffa Remix)

From Verve Remixed:
Feelin' Good (Joe Claussell remix)
See-Line Woman (Masters At Work remix)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Regina Spektor mp3 - Somedays (Live on Leno 4-20-2005)

Here's the audio of Regina Spektor's Somedays, which she sang on Leno Wednesday night, in case you missed it.

Regina Spektor - Somedays (Live on Leno 4-20-2005) (mp3)

Handy mp3 Search Tool

Another reason to bookmark the Smudge: The handy-dandy java music search tool over there on the right sidebar. Just click on the link, enter in a song title and/or an album name, click on the button, and voila. Try it. It's fun.

The National - Karen and Friend of Mine

I've seen mp3s from The National's Alligator here and there, but haven't found two my favorite tracks from the album. It's interesting how people are drawn to different songs. I like Karen because of its little surprises - the lyrical surprise that I'll let you find, and the unexpected dissonant chords and notes. The lyrical rhythm of Friend of Mine is irresistable, and the tension created with clever drumming is ironically resolved with the calm of the disconcerting chorus: "I'm getting nervous/Nanananananana/No sign/of a friend of mine."

The entire album is solid and holds together. These songs are beautifully written. It's one of my favorite listens right now.

The National mp3s:
Friend of Mine

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

New Foo Fighters: Best of You (mp3)

For a hard rocker, Dave Grohl has written some heartfelt, poignant songs, and is one of those rare artists who can evoke both melancholy and glee with a phrase, while driving the air from your speakers into a pounding frenzy. Can he keep it up on the Foos' next album? Here's a new Foo Fighters' song for your enjoyment and judgment:

Foo Fighters - Best of You (mp3)

Best Of You is now available on iTunes for a mere 99 cents. That's a little less than a fourth of a cup of beer in D.C., and worth so much more.

***update 6/2/05: may I redirect you here for an mp3 from the new Foo acoustic disc.

Britney Poll Results

Planet earth has spoken, and the results of our first very scientific poll are in. The question was: Is Britney ready to have a baby?

Earthlings agree that those bosoms will be cantaloupes when she starts lactating. I can't say that I disagree. Planetary humans would also still do Britney, as she’s hardly even showing. Sadly, the globe agrees that Britney is not ready for a baby.

The full answers, and results, are tabulated here:

Keep on the lookout for our second very scientific poll.

Rachel Goswell mp3 - Coastline (Ulrich Schnauss Vocal Mix)

Ulrich Schnauss does his magic...again. This time, on the sweet, whispery voice of Rachel Goswell. The man seems to have a weekness for those sweet, whispery voices, does he not? From the Coastline/Plucked Remix EP, with remixes by Ulrich Schnauss and the Earlies, available here.

Rachel Goswell - Coastline (Ulrich Schnauss Vocal Remix) (mp3)

Don't Download This Sentimental Confessional Blahness.

Thomas Bartlett's Audiofile Daily Download for today is Russel Crowe's Raewyn, available on iTunes. But wait, he warns:

"This record is fresh, revelatory and graceful." That's Russell Crowe, writing with customary modesty about his upcoming solo record, "My Hand, My Heart."...if you need some help appreciating its quiet power, you may find it useful to read the 1,000-word explanatory "Background to Raewyn" that Crowe has posted in the news section of his site. I say don't waste your dollar. The song is dull, sentimental, confessional singer-songwriter blahness.

Nikka Costa mp3s - Till I Get To You and Fooled Ya Baby

No time for lengthy comments today - I'm in the middle of an office move.

Here are some songs from Nikka Costa's forthcoming can'tneverdidnothing, due May 25th. Perfect music to jam to during an office move.

Nikka Costa mp3s:
Till I Get To You
Fooled Ya Baby

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Man Who Was Never Bored

Here's an argument that you don't need to leave your room to travel and grow. From Dirda's review of A Journey Around My Room, By Xavier de Maistre, in this Sunday's Book World.

Confined to his quarters for 42 days as punishment for dueling, the French soldier Xavier de Maistre (1763-1852) decided to undertake a journey around his room. By treating his bed, his armchair, the artworks on the wall and his small library as major tourist sites, he planned to reflect upon their history, their importance to him, and the philosophical questions that they brought to mind. Just as some Shelleyan romantic might stand before the grandeur of Mont Blanc or weep amid the ruins of the Parthenon, so de Maistre would thrillingly confront the ordinary objects around him -- and really see them for the first time. As he proved to himself, "The perceptions of the mind, the sensations of the heart, the very memories of the senses, are inexhaustible sources of pleasure and happiness for man."

William Blake said that one could "see a world in a grain of sand/ and a heaven in a wild flower/ Hold infinity in the palm of your hand/ And eternity in an hour." De Maistre's A Journey Around My Room (1795) and its sequel, A Nocturnal Expedition Around My Room (1825), might be test cases for that proposition. Life, after all, gains value from the intensity of one's engagement with it. By acts of concerted attention, we can invest even the most ordinary activities or objects with meaning, purpose and satisfaction. "A bed," writes de Maistre, "witnesses our birth and death; it is the unvarying theatre in which the human race acts out, successively, its captivating dramas, laughable farces, and dreadful tragedies. It is a cradle bedecked with flowers; -- it is the throne of love; -- it is a sepulchre."

This review really changed my outlook on life. As I look here around my office space, I ponder the rich history of neutral-colored modular furniture. I think of the genius and creativity that it must have taken to invent tile carpeting. And if it weren't for the ergonomic chair, my ass nerves would surely have been pinched to oblivion by now...

Ray LaMontagne mp3 - Forever My Friend (Live On Letterman 4-13-2005)

From the April 13th Letterman, this performance was plain. Beautifully plain. Ray Lamontagnes's songs need no embellishment.

Ray Lamontagne - Forever My Friend (live on Letterman, 4-13-2005) (mp3)

Beck mp3s - E-Pro and Girl (Live on SNL 5-16-2005)

During the making of Guero, the initial rumor was that this record would rock like no other Beck record. According to subsequent rumors, it would sound more like Midnite Vultures, Sea Change, or Odelay. Turns out all of the rumors were true.

If you watched SNL this weekend, you saw Beck with the volume turned up. Here are the mp3s of those live performances.

Beck mp3s - Live on SNL 5-16-2005:

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Shins, live mp3s - New Slang & Saint Simon

Closing songs, October 10, 2004, Moonshine Festival.

These songs mean so much to so many.

The Shins live mp3s:
New Slang
Saint Simon

Spaceways Inc. mp3s - Sun Ra & Funkadelic Covers from Thirteen Cosmic Standards

Spaceways Incorporated sees [Ken] Vandermark further exploring his muse, and paying tribute to those whose music influenced his. On Thirteen Cosmic Standards, the trio of Vandermark, bassist Nate McBride, and drummer Hamid Drake cover the songs of Sun Ra and Funkadelic...The trio let loose some deep, dark, and dirty funk, swimming in sax squeal, upright and electric bass and drumming frenzy..., October 2000

Spaceways Incorporated covers self-described "cosmic standards" from Sun Ra and George Clinton. Clinton in funk and Ra in jazz, both innovators in their respective fields, never received major attention or reached mass audiences. Their music tends to be complicated, lengthy, and not easily swallowed. Vandermark untangles and simplifies lines, covering the music almost straight. Playing these large ensemble giants in trio also helps. The music is like candy, not sweet yummies but fireballs., September 2000

Spaceways Inc., from Thirteen Cosmic Standards by Sun Ra and Funkadelic:

Alice in My Fantasies/Cosmic Slop (mp3)
Red Hot Mama/Super Stupid (mp3)

Frank Black - Strange Goodbye (mp3)

I've listened to Frank Black's leaked Honeycomb, and I'm eagerly awaiting its release in June. I had mixed emotions the first time I listened to it, as I imagine most fans have. After all, I've had my face rocked off by the man, and like a sick masochist, I loved every minute of every song. When you put a Frank Black CD in your stereo, you sort of know what to expect: blazing guitars, that manic howl, warped lyrics, and a certain punch, slowed down here and there with little semicolons of acoustic whimsy, and a few surprises interspersed. That is to say, you expect to hear Frank Black playing with the reliably tight Catholics.

He slows it down more than you might expect on this album, and it's not a bad thing - you don't have all of the noise pollution (that heavenly noise pollution) obscuring the lyrical depths that he mines here. And without giving specifics (I'll do more of that closer to release date), there is also very little whimsy to distract his dear listener. He demands that you are pulled into the songs, to hear what he's saying. This is not the time for you to get your face rocked off.

This song is a duet with his ex-wife Jean. It's about the awkwardness of leaving someone that you've become so close to, you've merged into a unit of living.

Frank Black - Strange Goodbye (mp3)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Funkadelic, from America Eats its Young

The Keoki, you hit the nail on the head, and now I must post a follow to your follow, because you mentioned George Clinton and P-Funk in the same breath as Prince. Since there ain't no Prince without there first being a Funkadelic, here's the latter to go with the former.

Mp3s from America Eats Its Young (1972):

Loose Booty
Wake Up

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Prince - When You Were Mine (live mp3)

This is another one of my favorite songs from the early 80's, from Dirty Mind (1980). This is from a Paris concert (1981). Of course, there's also a great version on Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual.

Prince - When You Were Mine (live mp3)

Find this track and a treasury of live Prince material here.

Bangles - Eternal Flame (live acoustic mp3)

This has always been one of my favorite songs, for no reason other than what it does to me. I saw the Bangles ages ago, at an outdoor show under a clear summer sky, and whenever I hear this song, it's as though I'm breathing in the same air, feeling the same wind on my face. I read somewhere that Susanna Hoffs picks three or four people in the crowd to look at while on stage, and I liked to think that she was looking at me. The dreams of youth.

Bangles - Eternal Flame (live acoustic mp3)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Guten Tag: I'm It. Young MC's Roll With the Punches and Fiery Furnaces' Sing for Me

I've been blog-tagged.

Sorry, Arethusa, I really couldn't find anything in a song that pins me down. But since you tagged me I had to choose two songs, so I pick these.

Young MC - Roll With The Punches (mp3). Always good advice. It's what you do when you bust a move and the move backfires. Rolling with the punches isn't possible if you don't anticipate them. Sometimes I hate that I do this, but when things are going really, really well for me I start looking for oil slicks and falling anvils, and flying fists. On the other hand, when life is shit I know that good times are near. That's what this 1989 song is all about.

Fiery Furnaces - Sing for Me (mp3). I'm coming close to the end of my military assignment here just outside of Washington, D.C., and there's a good chance that I'll be heading overseas within the 10 months or so for an "unaccompanied tour." I'm always excited about travel and little adventures, but I've become close to my friends here, and of course I will also miss family, including my new baby girl. Tthis song is full of hope, and heartbreaking. REM's Untitled track from GREEN would have worked just as well.

So, I suppose I have to tag someone else now and make him/her "it."

RC666, you know what to do. Let me guess...You're going to pick Freebird by Skynyrd and something by Marilyn Manson? hehe.

VCR mp3s - Bratcore and King and Queen of Winter

There are days when I'm bored of all music, when everything on the shelf and in the cases and on the hard drive look the same. Unplugged this, remixed that, classic this, funky that. Those are the days I listen to something like Devo, or similarly, these VCR tunes, to get my juices flowing, and even elicit a "whoah." These tracks are from their EP, released this Tuesday. Stream the entire EP here.

VCR mp3s
King and Queen of Winter

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds mp3s - Everything Must Converge and Little Empty Boat

Nick Cave is putting out the goods. Last year's double album, Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus was easily one of the best albumms of the year, and now we have a 3-disc B-sides and Rarities compilation.

That's 72 songs in two years.

So the new stuff on B-Sides & Rarities isn't really new, and it's a hit-and-miss affair. No matter. As Nick Cave reminds us of our own mortality, we hear the immortality of truth in his best work.

Here are two solid mp3s from B-sides and Rarities:

Everything Must Converge
Little Empty Boat

Poll: Is Britney Ready to be a Mommy?

Britney's pregnant, so this is a great opportunity for the first-ever poll here at the Smudge. We'll start with a simple yes/no question: Is Britney ready for motherhood? See the right sidebar, below the contributors and above Uncle Tom, for the poll. Which reminds me, ask Uncle Tom a question, dammit.

The Sights - I'm Going To Live The Life I Sing About In My Song (mp3)

Listen closely, folks. This is the way you want to start a rock album. This is the anthemic rebel guitar song that gets the crowd out of their seats, sung with a little arrogance and a lot of swagger. It's the first track from The Sights' self-titled album, released this Tuesday.

I'm Going To Live The Life I Sing About In My Song

Listen to Circus and Will I Be True here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bloc Party Live at the Black Cat 04-09-05 (torrent)

Here's a bittorrent file of the Black Cat Bloc Party show I discussed a couple of posts ago, taped from an FM stereo broadcast. You'll need bittorrent and a shn converter.

Adult - Hold Your Breath & Don't Talk (Redux) mp3s

It's Wednesday, but the weekend seems soooo far away, and you're wondering when the hell the next holiday is. What you need is a smile and a jolt of energy to keep you from losing your mind, but you're not sure you'll be able to summons it from the grey depths of your psyche.

Adult is here to help you out, transporting you from the office to...somewhere else, with their unique brand of space-pop-rock-punk-whatever. And remember, it's fun.

Adult mp3s, from the D.U.M.E. EP, CD and 12" available here:
Don't Talk (redux)
Hold Your Breath

Oh Dread - David Garza Free 5-Song EP

Get this really stinking good freebie here, for a limited time. Don't forget to download the artwork.

bloc party concert review and pics at alotofnothingness

My good friend RC666 saw bloc party this weekend at the Black Cat in D.C. with Uncle Tom (over there on the right sidebar...ask him a question, dammit!). They got some good pics, snuggled with Pony Up! and wrote a review. Hey RC, if you're reading this, and I know you are, I've got 2 words for you: Spell Check that shit.

Aimee Mann - I Can't Get My Head Around It (mp3)

The playful opening bass lines dance around the acoustic guitar chords, setting up her instantly recognizable voice, and immediately show that Aimee Mann continues to write and sing the ultra-melodic, sincere, un-polluted songs that we've come to expect. From her upcoming release (May 3), "The Forgotten Arm." A definite buy.

Aimee Mann - I Can't Get My Head Around It (mp3)

Download a live version of "She Really Wants You" here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Of Montreal - The Party's Crashing Us (mp3)

"It's like in that David Foster Wallace novel Infinite Jest, where there's that part where there's a video tape that they put on and it makes their lives obsolete in a way or makes their sense of living meaningless, and they just shit themselves and die. And with every record I'm trying to make one that makes all other records obsolete and makes people shit themselves and die," [Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes] says.

- From Of Montreal: Just Like Starting Over, by Matt Fink, in the Spring 2005 issue of Under the Radar.

Of Montreal - The Party's Crashing Us (mp3)

Download So Begins Our Alabee here from Fingertips Music.

From Sunlandic Twins, in stores today. Shit yourself and die.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Beck - Lost Cause (Live on Leno) - video and mp3

Let's see...the assertive, danceable Odelay is followed by the downtempo, acoustic-driven Mutations, which is followed by the electro-soul on Midnite Vultures, followed by the lush yet slow Sea Change. Now we've got Guero. I think I'm seeing some sort of pattern here. Well, probably not. This is Beck we're talking about.

How do I like my Beck? I love all of the above, plus all of his other stuff. The album I play depends on my mood, but whatever my mood, it's always a real treat to hear just the man and his Martin D-28.

Lost Cause is one of my favorite Beck songs, and this live Leno performance, from October 10th, 2002, is one of my favorite versions of it. He played the same song with the Flaming Lips on Letterman, and that was also a great version, but I prefer the intimacy of this one. He changes the words around in this performance. It's a little weird at first, but you get used to it and realize that it makes sense after a couple of listens.

This is for all the skinny white aging acoustic guitar playing troubadours who will imagine, as they watch and play along, that it's them in Beck's place, and could be, if only they had the "X" factor.

Beck - Lost Cause (Live on Leno) (mpg) (mp3)

The Alligator King - Video & mp3

The Cookie Monster is cutting back on cookies. It's not really that big a deal...I mean, all these obese munchkins could stand to lose a pound or twenty, right? And if kids can't trust a big fuzzy blue monster, then who can they trust? It's especially minor when you consider the other Sesame Street atrocities that have happened over the years. Snuffleuphagus (or however the hell you spell his imaginary name) appeared to everyone on Sesame Street, which terrified millions of kids into thinking that their imaginary friends would actually become real. The Grouch got a little nicer. Or maybe we just got a little meaner. And last, the move-in that changed the neighborhood forever: Elmo replaced Grover. It was bound to happen - Grover was this weird monster who was afraid of monsters, and was actually funny. We definitely don't want our kids to grow up to be cowardly class clown weirdos, do we? It's better to have them grow into cute, tickly, giggly, tap-dancing things that think they've got their own world.

On top of all that, last year, the grubby hands of politics snatched Put Down the Duckie (mp3) and cast it into the presidential campaign, when the political right told Kerry he needs to cast aside his childish views if he wants to graduate from the sandbox to the Oval Office. Looky here. Henson not only turned in his grave, he started kicking on the lid. How dare politicians bring Muppets into the campaign? And what are these republicans doing watching public TV, anyway - who let them behind the curtain?

Luckily, when I was a kid, I got the real stuff.

Like this lesson on materialism, from the trustworthy Alligator King (avi) (mp3). Emerson would take half a day to communicate the same message.

And what the hell. While I'm at it, here's Kermit singing Rainbow Connection (mp3).

I won't dwell on Evil Ernie, Ernie bin Laden, or the diversity that Ernie and Bert gives to Sesame Street. I will say that if they really were gay, don't you think they would have had the unibrows waxed?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Elliott Smith Live at the Black Cat, 4/17/98 - Excellent Recording (mp3)

These 1998 recordings from the Black Cat in D.C. sound great - there's some noise, but it's clear, lively, and not muffled at all.

The set includes Angeles, Alameda, a cover of John Lennon's Jealous Guy, Rose Parade, and an encore that includes Speed Trials and Thirteen (Big Star cover), and a cover of the Zombies' Care of Cell 44.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Personal Ad of the Day

It's Friday, and you know what that means...

Here's one of the most intimate, eloquent self-descriptions I've read in a personal ad, from the Washington City Paper, king of all sad personal ads:

"Men Seeking Women"


Don't Just Read the Headline...
Until I compose something actually interesting, this will have to do....

Age: 33
Gender: Man
Location: Fairfax
Woman for Dating

I can't wait to post that "something actually interesting."

Michael Stipe - The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance (Live Sinead O'Connor Cover) (mp3)

Here's a follow-up to yesterday's live REM post, just because I came across it as I browsed through my files. It's Michael Stipe, performing Sinead O'Connor's The Last Day of Our Acquaintance, live on a VH1 awards show from 1996.

Michael Stipe - The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance (Live Sinead O'Connor Cover) (mp3)

Magnetophone - Kel's Vintage Thought (OutHud remix) (mp3)

This is from Magnetophone's 2004 Kel's Vintage Thought EP, and will be on their upcoming The Man Who Ate The Man. This dance groove is a lot more passive than the rousing original track that is rockified by Kim and Kelley Deal, but it's pleasing nonetheless, and might fit better on your chillout or dance mix. The limited edition 12"/digital download EP is available here. Highly recommended.

Magnetophone - Kel's Vintage Thought (OutHud Remix)(mp3)

Iron & Wine - Lion's Mane (demo) (mp3)

It's Iron & Wine, unplugged(er).

Lion's Mane (demo) (mp3)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Raveonettes - Red Tan (mp3)

It's another late-50's/early 60's guitar rock homage from the Raveonettes' upcoming Pretty in Black, but this love song, though real purty, ain't no bubblegum:

If you and me should ever go to hell
Come on, let's go right now
Come on, let's go right now

Raveonettes - Red Tan (mp3)

Uncle Tom's First Post

The following request came to me the other day folks:

Dear Uncle Tom,

All over the news people are trying to save stupid crap that no one
cares about, like the rainforest and those seals that Canada is
killing. What did those seals, the rainforest, or any endangered
species do for them or us? Nothing that's what. I am trying to save
something that is dear to my heart and I am sure millions of others
around the world, Taco Bell's Chilli Cheese Burrito. I was thinking
to help get others on the bandwagon to post one comment on people's
blogs while blog surfing. I wouldn't post anonymous, I would let them
know who I was and be proud that I am trying to help the world. Yet
an office mate of mine said that this would be considered Blog-spam
and that it would be wrong. Uncle Tom what should I do?

Confused and Starving

Well C&S,

I too remember the Chili Cheese Burritos from Taco Bell and I too miss them, however unlike you I understand the impact that Canadian seals can have on a community. The following is a site dedicated to educating everyone about the ringed seal. The link will provide a population breakdown of the ringed seal as well as information about Inuit tribes who use the seal for food and trade. NAMMCO.
It wouldn't be fair to exclude the other side of this issue so next I am going to include this link to a "seal protection" site. Pay attention to the graphics on this one folks cause Uncle Tom loves him some graphic design! Bunch of Hippies.
For those of you who are asking "Uncle Tom what becomes of those cute little doe eyed seals once they are clubbed to death?" Well everyone, let me take you to a place where you can purchase some items of clothing made from that seal or mink or beaver or fox or whatever. Staying warm. I hope this clears up your issues with the ringed seal Confused and Starving. As far as the blog spamming, I say send Taco Bell some seal pelts, I think the chili cheese burritos were made from their meat anyway.

--Uncle Tom

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

R.E.M. - After Hours (Live Velvet Underground Cover) (mp3)

Yesterday, the esteemed Matthew Perpetua of Fluxblog gushed about his love for REM, stating that "Together, these men created one of the finest catalogs in all of pop music, including several songs that I am certain will remain part of the public conciousness for many decades to come," and posted a stirring live version of Life and How to Live It.

I'm with him. For me, during the Bill Berry years, each new R.E.M. release was like a feast of meat sent to relieve me of the dull manna that was 90% of everyday radio. Their entire I.R.S. catalog, plus Green, Out of Time, Automatic for the People, and select songs from each additional record from WB are required listening.

This song is not. It's a lot of fun, though. REM adds a lot of twang and ironic glee to their live version of Velvet Underground's very dark After Hours.

REM - After Hours (Live Velvet Underground Cover) (mp3)

And here are a few Velvet Underground versions for your very own After Hours EP.

After Hours (from Velvet Underground)
After Hours (alternate closet mix from Peel Slowly and See)
After Hours (live from the Family Dog in San Francisco)

Lou Reed once said that After Hours is a song too innocent for him to sing. He did, though, and you can hear it on Live at Max's Kansas City (Deluxe Edition).

Beck - Venom Confection (E-Pro Remix by Green, Music & Gold)

The Remix. It's not about improving on the original. It's all about the fun. It's sort of like drawing a mustache on your copy of the Mona Lisa. This is from the Venom Confection E-Pro Remix LP Single, which also has a banjofied remix by Homelife.

Beck - Venom Confection (E-Pro Remix by Green, Music & Gold)

Ciccone - All Stacked Up (mp3)

Ciccone are influenced by Sonic Youth. You know it because their title is derived from "Ciccone Youth," SY's nom de plume for their Whitey Album, and you can hear the influence pretty directly when you compare the refreshingly rocking All Stacked Up a salute to SY's classic, Mary-Christ, from Goo.

Ciccone - All Stacked Up (mp3), from their All Stacked Up EP (2002)
Sonic Youth - Mary-Christ (mp3)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Wedding Present - I'm From Further North Than You

If you're going to make a song about a relationship gone sour, you might as well make it funny and witty. David Gedge knows these things. The title and opening verse suggests distance and coldness, the peppy pop music gives it the light tone, and the lyrics...

I think we're the same in many ways
And I admit we had some memorable days
But just not very many.

From the brilliant (as expected) album, Take Fountain.

The Wedding Present - I'm From Further North Than You (mp3)

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Rude Staircase mp3s (or music for people who are on something, part II)

Some dude, whose brother's girlfriend is in the band, saw The Rude Staircase at the Black Cat last month, and even though he expected them to suck, he liked them.

That means a lot to me.

These mp3s are from their upcoming album. It's some of the best B-movie-horror- flick-theme-sounding-music that I've heard today. For some strange reason it compels me to gnaw off a limb. But in a good way. Join them at the Black Cat on May 26th to celebrate the release of the record.

A Gaggle of Swans and Here Come the Red Teeth here. Legal agreement required (Hey, it's the Washington Post's mp3 site. Of course they gotta CYA.)

Listen to:
Telephone, Telephone and In the Silo here.

Uncle Tom Cares

Just a reminder that before you Ask Jeeves, you should ask Uncle Tom. He'll share his sage advice, and sharing is caring.

Uncle Tom Cares.

Whether you need to know what chord comes next in your progression, or have a problem with urge suppression, click on "Ask Uncle Tom" on the right sidebar.

The Books - If Not Now, Whenever (mp3)

The Books' new CD, Music for People on Something, is out tomorrow. Oh wait, my bad, it's called Lost and Safe. It leaked ages ago, but if you didn't catch any of it, here's a track that I think has something to do with lethargy. And other stuff. It's pretty damn good if your mind is open when you listen to it.

The Books - If Not Now, Whenever (mp3)

Eels - Two mp3s From Blinking Lights

In the April issue of ICE, the Eels' E says Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, their upcoming double-disc album, is "about the feeling of living a life and what it all adds up to and what's behind it - from birth ['From Which I Come/Magic World'] to death [Checkout Blues, Suicide Life, and Things the Grandchildren Should Know]."

E adds, "Things the Grandchildren Should Know is probably the most nakedly autobiographical thing I've ever written."

If this song, with its heartbreaking Daniel Johnston-like lyrics, doesn't move you, you're an android and need only listen to techno. Same goes for Hey Man (Now You're Really Living), in which E tells us what it is to live the life.

Eels - Things the Grandchildren Should Know (mp3)
Eels - Hey Man (Now You're Really Living) (mp3)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Cherry Blossom Death - a Japanese Death Poem

The Cherry Blossom festival in Washington, D.C. takes place this weekend, and the peak bloom is projected for April 7 - 9. Unless cold weather delays the peak, the blossoms will be sparse when the full moon comes on April 21st. The sidewalks and lawns will be decorated with wilting pink petals, and will scatter and blow away with the tourists.

Saigyo, a Buddhist monk and warrior who influenced Basho's writing, died in 1190. He wrote his death poem, which "presents a scene during the second lunar month, when cherry trees blossom and memorial services for the Buddha's death are held:"

Negawaka wa
hana no shita nite
hary shinamu
sono kisaragi no
mochizuki no koro

Translated into English:

I wish to die
in spring, beneath
the cherry blossoms,
while the springtime moon
is full.

Poem and quote taken from Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death, by Yoel Hoffman