Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Trane in Europe

This is John Coltrane, from the European tour tapes, 1963-1965, with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, and Eric Dolphy. At one moment it will make you breathe deep, and at the next it will steal that breath away.

The Promise (mp3)
Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (mp3)

Invest in Live Trane: The European Tours.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Clientele - Live KCRW 5-24-2007

The Clientele played a generous live set for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic last Thursday. The in-studio was bright, dreamy, and just the thing to take one away from whatever it is you need taken away from.

The Clientele - Live KCRW 5-24-2007 (mp3s):

Here Comes The Phantom
The Queen Of Seville
Hope I Know You
Since K Got Over Me
Somebody Changed
My Own Face Inside The Trees
Bookshop Casanova
The Garden At Night

Own God Save the Clientele.

The rest of the show, including Nic Harcourt's interview with the band, is here.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


These are from the new Southerly album, Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist. Taking Stock begins as a nervous echo of Elliott Smith's Needle In The Hay, until the tension, heightened with the repeated verse breathe, because is just might be your last breaks under its own momentum, and the song is allowed that one last breath before ending. If We All Forget brings all the paranoia of Radiohead's songs of displacement. Both have a beautiful gravity that lingers.

Southerly - Taking Stock (mp3)
Southerly - If We All Forget (mp3)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Jesus and Mary Chain - All Things Must Pass (Live on Letterman 5-21-2007)

On Monday night, The Jesus and Mary Chain unleashed a glorious noise on their return to Letterman. You don't need to see video of the performance yet - just listen to it. Trust me on this.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - All Things Must Pass (Live on Letterman 5-21-2007) (mp3)


Maybe the best thing about this year's batch of albums is the presence of hard, edgy keys. Makes one wonder how much of this is owed to Q and Not U. But already, I digress. Menomena broke the year in with chords less played than attacked, or used as weapons. Many examples later, Nurses use the keys mainly to toughen their sound, not soften it. And when the keys do soften the song, they build anticipation and tension, rather than create peace and contentment.

Nurses - Alone At Last (mp3)
Nurses - Hungry Mouth (mp3)

Stream the rewarding Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down here:

Scissors For Lefty

Next to Argyle is a new song from Scissors For Lefty's forthcoming album, Underhanded Romance. It might be nonsensical, or it might be intelligent yet whimsical, and maybe it feels Bowie-esque, or maybe it feels Pulp-esque, but whatever it is, it is sweet, sweet ear candy, and it's going to make a ton of people buy the record.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jenny Owen Youngs

Jenny Owen Youngs is best known for Fuck Was I, the standout track that finally found listening ears when played during the second season of HBO's Weeds, and inspiring Nettwerk to reissue her self-released 2005 album, Batten The Hatches. It's a good thing, too - the rest of the disc brings to mind singer-songwriters such as Beth Orton, Bree Sharp, and Mary Lou Lord. The writing ranges from spunky to despondent, but Youngs never complains; she just tells it like she sees it.

These, in addition to Fuck Was I, are my favorite tracks. Keys Out Lights On is a gentle, lazy dream with a meandering flugelhorn that drifts like thoughts just out of reach. Porchrail is more to the point: a 1:45 finger-snapper with upright bass flirting with a playful guitar line, and at precisely the one minute mark, the guitar enters as a guttural rumble, perfectly timed.

Jenny Owen Youngs - Porchrail (mp3)
Jenny Owen Youngs - Keys Out Lights On (mp3)

Own Batten the Hatches.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cannon's Jug Stompers

He who has an ear, let him hear. Let him hear behind the static, the pops and hisses, scars of age, and go straight through to the soul of the people singing these songs, in the hot air, pants and shoes torn, with dusty banjo and harmonica.

Cannon's Jug Stompers - Going to Germany (mp3)
Cannon's Jug Stompers - Mule Get Up In The Alley (mp3)
Cannon's Jug Stompers - Pretty Mama Blues (mp3)

Own The Best of Cannon's Jug Stompers.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Coltrane Motion - Songs [mp3s] About Music

Every day I wake up drowning
You're a sinking ship
I'm a ghost

So kiss me in the dark
And for one heavenly second
I'm alive

Just to die in your arms

- from Coltrane Motion's deliciously warped sing-along carnival ride of a pop song, How To Be (mp3).

Also check out their smart and damn near anthemic two and a half minute pulsating, confounding head bopper, They Can't Mic The Deep End (mp3), which begins:

Let's start this off presuming
it's been done better
a thousand times before.
Better actors,
perfect bodies,
sharper wits,
and all that.
Let's study every rhyme,
every brush stroke
for a glimpse of meaning,
stretch this clumsy metaphor

Songs About Music is a buy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Porter Wagoner - Wagonmaster

For those who long for country lyrics that don't read like Hallmark cards, and for those who want an artist whose talent exceeds his (or her) tan, Porter Wagoner is just the thing - the genuine thing. His latest album, Wagonmaster (June 5, Anti-), is a timeless collection of songs written from a heart more connected to back porches and wooden floors than shopping malls and Wal-Marts. There's heartbreak without drama, religion without oversentiment, and a ton of glorious call-and-response steel pedal and fiddle. There's also song written by Johnny Cash especially for Wagoner - Committed to Parkview. Both were Parkview guests, and the 79-year old Wagoner convincingly declares, "Hope I never have to go there again." Don't think that you have to listen to the Cash song to hear great songwriting, though - the entire album is packed with lines from an experienced, well-travelled pen. Take the funereal lament about loss of a love because of one's own addictions, Late Love of Mine, which begins this way:

The ceremony's beginning
For the late love of mine
But there's no one attending but me
And the memories she left behind

I watched as her love for me
Died a little at a time
She tried in every way she could
The late love of mine

And how perfect is that guitar solo in the middle of Satan's River. Not too much, not too little. You tell me.

Porter Wagoner - Committed to Parkview (mp3)
Porter Wagoner - The Late Love of Mine (mp3)
Porter Wagoner - Satan's River (mp3)

Own Wagonmaster.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sister Funk

The picture is definitely worth more than a thousand words, and mp3 blog posts should never be that long. This is power funk, sung by ladies amped up on pure attitude.

Cheryl Dorsey - If You Want Your Man (mp3)
Hard Drivers Feat. Vivian Lee - Since I Was A Little Girl (mp3)

Own Sister Funk 2, from Dusty Groove America.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Feist, Live on KCRW, 5-10-2007

If you missed the Feist performance I just mentioned, you can still watch and listen to the shimmering session here. Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene also performed with her in this very special in-studio set.

Feist - Live on KCRW, 5-10-2007 (mp3s):

So Sorry
The Park
The Water
Feel It All
Safety Bricks
Sea Lion

Own Leslie Feist's music.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Feist on KCRW, in 5 minutes

Go here now.

Man dies while 'battle dancing'

I think this is music news, sort of.

Man dies while 'battle dancing'
May 10, 2007
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP)-- A man died while trying to outdo a rival with an acrobatic move while ''battle dancing,'' police said.

Robert Stitt, 48, and his rival were competing in a parking lot Monday night when he tried a forward flip and landed on his head....


Speaking of "battle dancing"...

Streetbattle (video: right click, save as)
WARNING: DO not attempt if you are 48 and have been drinking.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Arctic Monkeys, Live Acoustic on The Current

Ric Ocasek once said that if the song is really good, it doesn't matter how it's played; it's still a good song. When Dave Grohl played "Everlong" with an acoustic guitar, Howard Stern said "the song holds up." And after Beck played Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize" solo acoustic, KCRW's Nic Harcourt said "That's a whole new take on a Flaming Lips song," and Beck replied, "It's a good song." Maybe that's the test of a song: take everything away except an acoustic guitar and the vocal, and if it stands up when stripped bare, it's good.

Listen to these three songs that Arctic Monkeys' Alex & Jamie played with nothing but acoustic guitar for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current. They "hold up." This band writes damn good songs.

Arctic Monkeys - Live, Acoustic, on The Current (8 May 2007) (mp3s):
3. Fluorescent Adolescent
1. The Bakery
2. Only Ones Who Know

Own Favourite Worst Nightmare.

The Octopus Project In Flight

I spent yesterday flying from San Antonio to St. Louis to home, and once home, ironing clothes. I learned that The Octopus Project is the perfect music accompaniment for flying and ironing while contemplating one's existence. Don't believe me? Grab some wrinkled clothes and an iron, throw on the headphones, and play something from their back catalog, like these:

The Octopus Project - Roobot/Roboot (mp3)
The Octopus Project - pif (mp3)
The Octopus Project - Falling Down Sound (mp3)

More here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Ponys, Live on The Current.

The Ponys played three songs on Minnesota Public Radio's The Current a few days ago. What you get here is about 8 minutes of pure passion and urgency.

The Ponys - Live on The Current (5-4-2007)(mp3s):

We Shot The World
Exile On My Street
Turn The Lights Out

For best results, Turn the Lights Out.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Don't Let Him Waste Your Time - Jarvis Cocker, Live on Letterman, & Nancy Sinatra w/Jarvis in 2004

You can say "Jarvis Cocker" all you want, and it probably would be great fun, but I think there's an unwritten rule that says you can't mention the name "Nancy Sinatra" in a blog post without also posting a picture.

Jarvis Cocker - Don't Let Him Waste Your Time (Letterman, 2007) (mp3)

And then here's more Nancy.

Nancy Sinatra - Don't Let Him Waste Your Time (with Jarvis Cocker) (Jan 2004) (mp3)

And more Nancy.

Check out Jarvis Cocker on Da Ali G Show. Ali G declares: "Parents, if your teenage kids has suddenly lost a lotta weight, is lookin' kinda pasty, havin' mood swings and spendin' a lot of their time locked in their rooms, then they is almost certainly into indie music."

Own Jarvis.
Own Nancy Sinatra.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fujiya. Miyagi. Fujiya. Miyagi. Fujiya. Miyagi. Sock it to me.

NPR recently broadcast and recorded Peter Bjorn & John, Au Revoir Simone, and Fujiya & Miyagi, at their 9:30 Club performances on April 30th. The NPR headline, however, only mentions Peter Bjorn & John's "Infectious Pop." Bad form, because if you're like me and skim over headlines, deciding which ones to click on and which not to, you might have completely overlooked the great performances from Fujiya & Miyagi and Au Revoir Simone. Forgivable, though because NPR has put up downloadable mp3s of each entire performance here.

Here are mp3-player ready individual files of the Fujiya-Miyagi show. Live Kraut lives.

Ankle Injuries
Sucker Punch/Photocopier
Transparent Things
(Unknown Title)
Cassette Single
No More Pussyfootin' (?)
In One Ear And Out The Other
Conductor 71

Transcend with Transparent Things.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Final Fantasy & Others Interpret Stars

Remember when we used to listen to Stars' Set Yourself On Fire in the car on the way to the Lunch Adventure du Jour in Bethesda or Rockville? Or on the way to a show in D.C.? And remember watching the Ageless Beauty video at work? That's right, I'm talking to you, Tom, Keoki, and Randy. These are for you guys.

And, Randy, remember Final Fantasy's first U.S. performance, and wondering who the hell "Final Fantasy" was before the show?

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (Final Fantasy) (mp3)
Ageless Beauty (The Most Serene Republic) (mp3)

Own Do You Trust Your Friends?, which is Set Yourself On Fire, lovingly remixed and/or reinterpreted, out May 22.

Tom Morello, Let Freedom Ring, Live @Amoeba

Click here to watch Amoeba's video of The Nightwatchman, a.k.a. Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, playing Let Freedom Ring in a live in-store at Amoeba Hollywood.

Here's a fan video of the same performance:

Own One Man Revolution.

Enter the world that longs to take you in.

And you? Maybe a moment will come when you’ll hesitate, hearing a word. In that instant lies your salvation. Heed the hesitation. Search out the space, the rift. Under this world there is another, waiting to be born. You can remain where you are, in the old world, tasting the bitter berries of disenchantment, or you can overcome yourself, rip yourself free of the word-lie, and enter the world that longs to take you in.

-from History of a Disturbance, by Steven Millhauser.

Philip Glass - The Locket (mp3)
Philip Glass - The Orange Tree (mp3)

From The Illusionist (Music From The Film)

Own the fantastic The Illusionist (Widescreen Edition), based on the short story Eisenheim the Illusionist, also by Millhauser, in The Barnum Museum: Stories (American Literature Series).

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Outside the City I See

Young Galaxy was created at the intersection of Catherine McCandless and Stars' (there they are again) Stephen Ramsey, and expanded from there. Their songs shimmer & glow, even as their guitar solos rage and burn. Here's the video for their new song, Outside the City. I love the chorus: Outside the city I see/I see I'm inside out.

Here's the mp3:

Young Galaxy - Outside the City (mp3)

And Come and See, which sounds like a friendly duel between Stars and The Islands:

Download "Come And See" (mp3)
from "Young Galaxy"
by Young Galaxy
Arts & Crafts

Buy at eMusic

It's In The Stars.

Totally unrelated to anything except that this song played a few songs after the Jade McNelis track on my iTunes playlist, and I recently saw Zodiac, and in the last post I mentioned the Stars, and all this can't be a coincidence, can it? It's a sign that I have to post this, right??

Jesse Anderson - Readings In Astrology (mp3)

From the Superfly Soul comp I posted some tracks from a few days back.

The Reason That Jade McNelis Hasn't Saturated The Hype Machine...

...eludes me. Maybe it's lack of exposure; if that's true, then let's change that right now. Her voice is flawless, and she projects it with equal parts power and sensuality across an impressive range. She's convincing whether her compositions are lush and harmonically complex, or electronic, hard, and beat-driven.

A Montreal resident from Tallahassee, born in Taiwan and adopted at 42 days old by American parents, Jade began playing piano at age 4. By the sound of it, she never stopped. The Stars' Chris Seligman recognized her talent, and co-produced her debut EP with Drew Malamud, who worked with The Stars, The Dears, and DFA 1979.

Here's Life In Grey, which begins with a playful piano melody, speckled with Beck-esque electronic noises, and interrupted only by and abrupt and appropriate ending that prompts an immediate repeat play.

Jade McNelis - Life In Grey (mp3)

If you can't get enough of Jade, find "more" of her in this video:

Download All The Fables (EP) here: