Monday, July 31, 2006

REM Live in 85

It's old news by now, but if you haven't heard...this September, EMI is releasing a best-of CD and DVD of REM's early years at I.R.S.

According to

The CD will be called And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 and will be available in 2 formats: a 21-track single-disc collection of hits and band/fan favorites and a 2-CD Collector's Edition with a second 21-track disc of rarities including alternate takes, demos, previously unreleased mixes, and live recordings of classic R.E.M. The collector's edition will include 11 never-before released tracks. The DVD, When the Light Is Mine The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 Video Collection, includes the music videos from Chronic Town through Document, as well as live television performances and James Herbert’s short film, Left of Reckoning. DVD extras feature early interviews and rare acoustic performances.

It might look something like this:

In anticipation, I'm posting these REM songs, from their performance at the 1985 Werchter Festival, were recorded from an FM broadcast. The sound quality is excellent on all of these, including the cover of CCR's Have You Ever Seen The Rain. For me, these conjure images of the band, with a permed Stipe, in all their glorious thrift store frumpiness (see above). They were the counterculture of the times.

REM (Live at the Werchter Festival, 7-7-1985) (mp3s):

Feeling Gravity's Pull
Driver 8
(Don't Go Back To) Rockville
So. Central Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain (CCR Cover)
Can't Get There From Here

By the way, here's a video from that era, recorded from The Tube:

And here's the band playing Country Feedback, with Bill Berry, from a Minus 5 performance earlier this year at the Georgia Theater in Athens:

While I'm at it, here's the full-length version of Nightswimming (from the Parallel DVD), which Chris Martin called the best song ever written:

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Say Hi To Your Mom Live at KEXP

Say Hi To Your Mom played live in the KEXP studio yesterday. It was magically delicious.

Say Hi To Your Mom - Live on KEXP, 7-26-2006 (mp3s):

These Fangs
Sweet Sweet Heartkiller
She Just Happens to Hate the Prince of Darkness
Snowcones and Puppies

And since we're on the subject of pets:

Say Hi To Your Mom - Kill the Cat (mp3)

And since we're on the subject of death:

And because I love it:

Say Hi To Your Mom - Pop Music of the Future (mp3)

Download 12 more mp3s here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tapes 'n Tapes, live at MPR 7-21-2006

The blogs have gushed 'n gushed about Tapes 'n Tapes. Last week, the band returned the favor on MPR, confessing their debt to mp3 blogs in an interview for The Current.

From this story:

"With the Internet, and with a blog that people go back to, it's really easy to keep things fresh in people's minds," Willett says. "It'd be like, 'Oh yeah, there's that band again.' And then as you hop from blog to blog and you see, 'Oh they're talking about it too, there must be something going on.' And what's funny is, in my post I even said if I were Pitchfork, this would be my best new music. And then a couple months later it was best new music in Pitchfork."

Here's the in-studio performance:

Tapes 'n Tapes (Live on Minnesota Public Radio, 7-21-2006)(mp3s):

Jakov's Suite

Get The Loon.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Camera Obscura, Live on KEXP

The new Camera Obscura album was the most-played last week at WXYC, and for several weeks now, the band has been on the Hype Machine's "most blogged about list." They've been less Obscura than Common-a. For good reason. The album is very good, and their live shows have been getting raves. Here they are in an intimate setting, live at the KEXP studio.

Camera Obscura (Live on KEXP, 7-20-2006) (mp3s):

The False Contender
Tears for Affairs
Dory Previn
Let's Get Out of This Country

Own Let's Get Out of This Country.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Golden Smog, Live on The Current

Half of Golden Smog (Gary Louris of the Jayhawks and Kraig Jarret Johnson of Run Westy Run) played a short in-studio set on Minnesota Public Radio's The Current last Thursday.


Golden Smog (Live on The Current, 7-20-2006) (mp3s):

Beautiful Mind
Think About Yourself

Own the excellent Another Fine Day

Thursday, July 20, 2006

D X S !

I was going to post Camera Obscura's KCRW in-studio performance from yesterday. BUT since there are scores, even hundreds, of Camera Obscura mp3s on the blogs already (they're one of the Hype Machine's "Most Blogged" artists) (which, by the way, is an evil category) (I digress), I'm going to post the polar opposite of indie pop: the undainty Death By Sexy.

"Polar opposite" is a really poor comparison, though. Let's try that again. If your everyday indie pop is a Starbucks Frappucino, then Death By Sexy is a day-old mug of grounds. If indie pop is Werther's Originals hard candy, then Death By Sexy are Pop Rocks. Tons more flavor, and a lot more shocking. Maybe a little less staying power, but difficult the future is to see. Wait, one more. If indie pop is a Power Ranger, then Death By Sexy is...yeah baby, CHUCK NORRIS.

In three words: harder, faster, louder. With that, I can erase the two paragraphs above.

A very wise man once said "Sometimes you just gotta rock." If you squint really hard nad look up on the mountaintop, you'll see that old sage with earbuds - no, scratch that - earbuds are for wusses. You'll see that feller weighed down with enormous, hideous, fully head-encapsulating headphones, rocking out to some Death By Sexy, enlightened by the racket that emanates from a mere two men, two voices, one guitar, one drumset, and cowbell.

Death By Sexy - You and Me Are Gonna Get It On (mp3)
Death By Sexy - Blow My Mind (mp3)

Death By Sexy are playing tonight at DC9, and their EP release show is at the Black Cat on August 11. Be a man and get yourself a copy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Math Is Useful In Real Life.

Math the Band brings its quirky manic laptop pop to WMUC's Indiepopalooza at the University of Maryland next Tuesday. They're playing with another band I've been enjoying lately - the Tasty Habits. More on them later this week.

For now, study your Math.

Math the Band mp3s:

My Algebra Teacher (sold heroin)
Red Sweater (Aquabats cover)
I Bet You Five Dollars I Have Married More People Than You Have
Wear Wolf Fever
Clouds Are Clams

Get more here.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Submarines on KCRW

The Submarines are a husband & wife team that broke up, wrote some songs, reconciled, and now play them together. Something like that. You can read more about their history at other sites - it's good page-filler. What matters to me is that their songs shimmer. Maybe a little too much for some tastes--but many of the groups that seek harmonic perfection and surrender to the melodies they're compelled to record have been accused of making music that is "too pretty" or "overproduced." Too pretty works for my ears.

The Submarines - Live on KCRW's MBE (7-12-2006)(mp3):

Brighter Discontent
This Conversation
Modern Inventions
Ready or Not
Peace and Hate
Darkest Things Parts 1 & 2

Thursday, July 13, 2006

World Party on MPR

World Party performed in the MPR studio on Monday. From

St. Paul, Minn. — World Party fell apart after leader Karl Wallinger was struck down by an aneurysm that left him unable to speak. Wallinger's manager and mentor, Steve Fargnoli died of cancer and World Party ended its long time record deal with Chrysalis Records.

After several years of rehabilitation, Wallinger put the group back together, and re-mastered and packaged "Dumbing Up" on his own label Seaview Records (the recording only received a partial UK release in 2000.)

These guys are not only playing like they mean it--they're playing like they love it.

World Party - Live on MPR (The Current) (7-10-2006) (mp3s):

Is It Like Today?
What Does It Mean?
Sweet Soul Dream

Get World Party CDs.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jim Noir mixes Sebastien Tellier.

The original version of La Ritournelle (which is French, bien sur, for "The Ritournelle") was on Sébastien Tellier's Politics, released in 2004. It tricks you into thinking it's an instrumental track - a good one - and then after four minutes, the vocals appear, along with the light funk. It's worth the wait, and the wait is worth it.

Sébastien Tellier - La Ritournelle (Original Edit)(mp3)

I recently professed my admiration for Jim Noir. Here's his mix:

Sébastien Tellier - La Ritournelle (Jim Noir Mix) (mp3)

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Coup - Live on MPR

The Coup played on Minnesota Public Radio last month. The entire performance with interview is available on their website. They helped thousands of Minnesotans reach a higher level of understanding, and perhaps changed a few attitudes. Or maybe they just made the folks around the Twin Cities shake their Twin Cheeks.

The Coup - Live on MPR 6-2-06 (mp3s)

Laugh, Love, F**k
Five Million Ways to Kill a CEO/Gunsmoke

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hotter Reggae

Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown (1973-1980) features 18 scorching tracks of Jamaican reggae bands covering American soul, funk, and rap. One listen to Ken Boothe's cover of Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine, and you're hooked; one listen to Welton Irie's Hotter Reggae Music, in which Rapper's Delight pops up from out of nowhere, and you're buying.

Welton Irie - Hotter Reggae Music (mp3)
Ken Boothe - Ain't No Sunshine (mp3)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Good Titles Blues

Some of my favorite song titles are from early blues songs. They just don't make titles like they used to, do they? These tracks are from Joe Hill Louis: The Complete Sun Recordings, available on

I can imagine a White Stripes cover of When I'm Gone (She Treat Me Mean and Evil), can't you? And the spoken word rambling on Gotta Let You it!

Joe Hill Louis mp3s:

She May Be Yours (But She Comes to See Me Sometimes)(Version 2)
Gotta Let You Go (Nappy Headed Woman)
When I'm Gone (She Treat Me Mean and Evil)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Guster - Live on KCRW, 6-30-06

Guster played a lengthy, crowd-pleasing set on KCRW last week. Well, okay, there was no crowd. But if there were, I promise everyone would have been pleased.

Let me post the bonus non-KCRW performance live track first:
(Nothing but) Flowers (Talking Heads cover) - From Guster on Ice

Guster - Live on KCRW, 6-30-06 (mp3s):

One Man Wrecking Machine
Jesus on the Radio
Two of Us (Beatles cover)
Lightning Rod
Rise and Shine
The Captain

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Black Heart Procession - Live on KEXP 6-30-06

The Black Heart Procession played four songs on KEXP yesterday. Prepare to be entranced and harrowed. Their spell has no cure.

The Black Heart Procession (Live on KEXP 6-30-06) (mp3s):

Not Just Words
The Letter
To Bring You Back
The Spell

Own The Spell.