Friday, April 28, 2006

I Was Going To Post A Song From The New Sonic Youth, But... would be a waste of my own webspace, since almost the entire Rather Ripped album has been posted on mp3 blogs (see the Hype Machine).

That, and I sorta don't feel like being sued today.

Anyway, however you felt about SY in the past, definitely listen to Do You Believe in Rapture?, which is here. It's easily one of the best songs of the year, from what will probably be my favorite album of the year. You know what, do yourself a favor and listen to Incinerate, too, if you can find it.

Since I'm not posting Sonic Youth, my substitute is..........

Dizzy Gillespie (of course!)

From Sweet Soul Live (LIVE) :

Getting Down (mp3)
Soul Time (mp3)
Soul Mama (mp3)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Babe We're Gonna Take it to the Top

It's a little creepy: just last week I was telling the Keoki about my first audio cassette purchases, in the year of our lord 1980, with my own money. The first batch of tapes I ever bought were The Brothers Johnson's Light Up The Night and Stevie Wonder's Hotter Than July. I wore both of them out.

Light Up The Night was 80 cents, in a bargain bin. It was produced by Quincy Jones, it featured Michael Jackson on one track, Stomp was all over the radio, and even made it as background music for an aerobics scene on General Hospital. The funk was majestic. Of course I had to buy it. I think I picked up a copy of Omni magazine the same day.

Anyway, I saw that their Strawberry Letter 23: Live became available on iTunes yesterday, and thought that was creepy.

From Strawberry Letter 23: Live:

Stomp! (mp3)
Word Up (Cameo Cover) (mp3)

From Light Up The Night:
This Had to Be (With Michael Jackson) (mp3)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Salad of Subconscious

Chas Mtn's Hugs is a multidimensional hypervolume of various states of consciousness. What the hell, you may ask, is that. Exactly. It plays like a workshop of subconscious minds, where a strange scientist grabs a couple of talented young men, throws them into a room with some instruments, tells them to make sixteen songs, on their backs and with the lights out, and they can't come out until they're done. And so you get a gentle 21-second 4-note daydream called We're Evil, We're Jazz to open the album, followed immediately by the relentless acoustic strum of Deep Safety, which layers instruments into an urgent vocal climax, and then you're greeted with buzzing flies (or are they bees or mosquitos?) in the mystical Leveled Mez. Then you get Wheels of Space, which is...forget it, I'm not even going to try. And so the whole album goes. Put it on random, and it will retain its splendid incoherence. But there is a thread there. It's just an invisible one, just underneath the conscious mind.

The one recurring theme, ironically, is the buzzing or chirping of insects, a disturbing symbol of awareness.

Chas Mtn mp3s, from Hugs (out today):

Deep Safety
Salad of Flies

Monday, April 24, 2006

Georgie James may sing of Cheap Champagne, but sound like Really Good Bubbly.

Take the tragically underknown solo artist Laura Burhenn's vocal and melodic talents, add the rhythmic pop sensibilities of Q and Not U's John Davis, and you get damn good ear candy from a D.C. Dream Team called Georgie James.

Mp3 bloggers know they've got a good CD in their tray when they torment over which songs to post from it. I want you to hear the entire Demos at Dance Palace EP, which you should be able to pick up from their live shows. But since I'm a mostly well-behaved blogger, I can't give you a taste of each delectable little pop bon-bon, from the opening drumbeats of the dance-along pop gem Need Your Needs, to the melancholy songwriting of Long Week (All of the fortune tellers say/It's gonna be a long week, a long week/Cause you've gotten used to the upswing/The feeling of a winning streak...), to the driving pop pulse of Cheap Champagne, which reminds me of the Primitives at a peak they never achieved. And did I mention that voice?

Fortunately for you, four of the demo songs are available at their myspace. And here's one that's not there, as well as an mp3 of Cheap Champagne, because you're going to need it for your mp3 player.

Georgie James are still unsigned, but they plan to record and release a full-length in the near future.

From Georgie James' Demos at Dance Place:
Cheap Champagne (mp3)
Places (mp3)

See them at DC9 on May 25th.

By the way, thanks to the Keoki for keeping the Smudge populated while I was in San Antone!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Texas Bound

I'm headed for San Antonio for the next two weeks, so the posts will be somewhere between sparse and absent. I leave you with my two favorite songs of this week.

Guy Davis - Po' Boy, Long Way From Home (mp3)
(from Skunkmello)

Meshell N'Degeocello with Chris Dave - National Anthem (Radiohead cover) (mp3)
(from Exit Music: Songs for Radio Heads)

The Smallest and Least Visible Details

In the reign of Harad IV there lived at court a maker of miniatures, who was celebrated for the uncanny perfection of his work. Not only were the objects of his strenuous art pleasing to look at but the pleasure and astonishment increased as the observer, bending closer, saw that a passionate care had been lavished on the smallest and least visible details. It was said that no matter how closely you examined one of the Master’s little pieces you always discovered some further wonder.

-from IN THE REIGN OF HARAD IV, by the great STEVEN MILLHAUSER, in this week's The New Yorker.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Smooth Van

Van Hunt is smooth. Here's visual proof:

Van Hunt also makes smooth, deep soul that will dig into your bones. Here's aural proof - a track featuring Nikka Costa from his new CD:

Van Hunt feat. Nikka Costa - Mean Sleep (mp3)

From On the Jungle Floor.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Smudge Strokes You

Hey, did you miss The Strokes' recent performance on Letterman? Me too. But here's a not so recent vid of the Strokes on Letterman, playing Take It Or Leave It.

The Strokes - Take It Or Leave It (Live on Letterman)(.mpg, 38MB)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Georgie James Podcast

Georgie James, a duet consisting of Washington D.C.'s own Laura Burhenn, and former Q & Not U drummer, John Davis, were recently interviewed by the Washington Post. You can download the podcast, which features songs from their demo EP, here.