Archive | January, 2011

Nerve-wracking

11 Jan

98.5% of the time I have no patience for electronica.  The other 1.5% is taken up primarily with “Slip in Electro Kid” by Timo Maas.  Hypnotic.

But here’s the deal.  You can only download it if you promise to listen to it with headphones.  It’s the only thing that has ever made me want to direct, only because I’m dying to use it as a soundtrack.

Okay, here. Remember…headphones!  You promised!

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Aaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhh

10 Jan

Once upon a time, many years ago in the early to mid ’80s, there was a little record store at 99 Macdougal Street in New York City.  This little record store wasn’t content with just selling records, so it decided to form a label and put out music of its own.  It called itself 99 Records and some of the most defining sounds of that era came out under its name.   (Liquid Liquid, ESG, Bush Tetras, Glenn Branca to name a few.)

And one magical day, 99 Records released “Stretch” from a UK band called Maximum Joy.   Yeah yeah yeah,  it has white guy rap which sounds dated now, but it’s infectious and fun and has those Pop Group-like post-punk-funk tones I love.  But more importantly, “Stretch” has the best scream in all of music history.   I know them’s fighting words, but  I’m not backing down.  Download here and see if you agree.

Now I’m going to make just the scream portion my ring tone.  And then I’m going to call myself constantly.

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What a Waster

9 Jan

As I was scanning Perez Hilton while watching Access Hollywood with an Us Weekly spread out next to me I realized that the unfortunate thing about our tabloid culture is that you start associating people only with their exploits and not what they should really be known for.  For instance, Lindsay Lohan is actually a decent actress.

And Pete Doherty seems to only make it into the press as a mess of a heroin addict — and even less so now since he’s no longer with Kate Moss.  And though drugs and models definitely lend themselves to “rock star,” so does actual rock music.

Babyshambles is a great band and The Libertines, his band before that, was fantastic. “What a Waster” was The Libertines’ first single and it rocks. Of course it didn’t do well as single since radio couldn’t play it with all the cursing.  What a fucking waster.

You should download it as fast as possible and play it really loud all day.  Do it.  NOW.

 

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A law I can get behind

8 Jan

31 films.  That’s how many Elvis acted in.  And I’ve seen every one of them.   While there are better films (King Creole and Jailhouse Rock to name two), I have a soft spot for Girl Happy.  And part of the reason is because of the song “Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.”  It could be – and probably is – a song that many could make fun of, but there is something about it that gets in my head and stays there for the entire length of spring break.

Seriously, who can’t get behind lyrics like these:

Any male in Fort Lauderdale

who is not pursuing a cute female

will automatically land in jail.

That’s the law in Fort Lauderdale.

So, happy 76th birthday, Elvis.  I know you’re still alive and celebrating.  I’m sure you’d be cool with me sharing the download here.

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Bring it on

7 Jan

It’s snowing again here in New York!  That makes me happy.  Very happy.  It’s coming down fast and furious right now, but the weatherman is saying  it won’t be anything like last week.

crossing my fingers for a repeat

And that makes me gravely unhappy.  I want masses of snow.  I want to be sitting in a warm, cozy restaurant that’s just made for looking out at the swirling flakes.  I want my Manhattan Snow Globe.

I guess what I really want is for Nick Cave to be my meteorologist.  He would give me fifteen feet of pure white snow.   Sigh.

Maybe we’ll get it after all.  But while we’re waiting, you can listen and download my dream forecast here.

 

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Happy Epiphany!

6 Jan

I have a confession to make.  I love a lot of gospel music.  Even more than that, I love what I call “real” country.  When you put the two of them together, I’m like putty in your hands.  Actually not totally.  For that to happen, there would have to be sawdust involved…but that’s a post for another date.

The Louvin Brothers are particular favorites of mine.  They’re actually Charlie and Ira Loudermilk, but they changed their last name.  If Loudermilk was my last name, I’d thank God every single day.  Like a lot of religious folk, they sang all about the Lord in public, but off-stage, it was another matter entirely.

Ira was a big ole drunk and was shot in the back by his 3rd wife after he tried to strangle her.  He lived  – and married a 4th wife.  Personally, I would have sworn off women by that point.   Later, he was killed by a drunk driver which was ironic since there was a DUI warrant out for his arrest at the time.

But it’s Epiphany so let us not dwell on the sordid.  “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself” is one of my all-time faves.  Download it here.  And watch the video; they’re awesome.  And now I’ll stop proselytizing.

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My lunch with Steve Earle

5 Jan

Some years ago, I was sitting outside having lunch at Five Points on Great Jones Street with a friend of mine from Texas.  He was telling me that Steve Earle was in the process of breaking up with one of his wives or girlfriends and was “taking up” with Allison Moorer, who later became Wife #7.  It was, at the time, top secret information.  Mid-story, we noticed that Steve and Allison were maybe 2 feet away, at the table right behind us!

My friend started freaking out because he was sure they heard us and then of course immediately needed to share this predicament via text message with the person who actually had given him the dirt.  But he couldn’t text!  His Blackberry and my Blackberry somehow locked into each other’s bluetooth signals and neither of us could use our phones.  At all.  It was so sad.  We had to spend the rest of the lunch just talking to each other about our own lives and trying not to stare at Steve Earle.

You can see why this memory is so vivid.  I just thought you should know.

Oh wait!  “I Thought You Should Know” is also the name of one of my top favorite-favorite Steve Earle songs.  So weird!

If you download it here, you will always think of this engaging story every time you hear it – which I hope will be often, because it’s a real beauty.

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“And then…complete silence. Everything that lives is still.”

4 Jan

There was a solar eclipse today.  You may not have realized it because it wasn’t visible everywhere.  And although it wasn’t a total eclipse (of the heart or otherwise), it did get me thinking about the film “Werkmeister Harmonies” by the brilliant Hungarian director, Béla Tarr.

There are only 39 shots in the entire movie!  And most of them take place in a circus, around a huge whale carcass.  Oh and the circus is in the middle of a frost-ridden expanse.   Those nutty Hungarians.  If you’re a fan of gorgeous black-and-white languidness that leads right up to absolute dread,  you should definitely check it out.

One of the things which make this film so magical is the pure beauty of the soundtrack.  It’s by a composer named Mihály Víg and I’ve been unsuccessfully been trying to get the recording for years.  If anyone is going to Hungary….I will officially be your best friend if you track it down.  I’m not kidding.

I do own one track.  I have no idea of its name, but it’s haunting.  Do yourself a favor and download/listen here.

But back to that eclipse.  Here’s one of the finest moments in cinematic history.  I’m still not kidding.  But be in the mood for ten minutes of poetry, not action.

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California über Alles … teil zwei!

3 Jan

So Jerry Brown was sworn in as governor of California today….again.   I, for one, was happy about this because it gave me a reason to pull out the original vinyl 45 rpm of “California über Alles” – The Dead Kennedy’s very first single from way back when.

It’s still amazing.

But, what is even more amazing is that the idea of “your kids will meditate in school” now sounds awesome, no?

Download here!

Gotta go….the suede denim secret police are…….

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Girls!

2 Jan

For years now, “Girls,” by The Moments has been my very favorite song of all-time.  It’s not even a song that anyone ever mentions when talking about soul music.  And barely anyone has ever heard of The Moments.  (They were essentially Ray, Goodman & Brown before a record company conflict made them change their name.)

And I understand completely that no one would ever agree with me about this.  It’s not really a beautifully crafted piece of music.  But no other song consistently makes me as happy every single time I ever hear it.

Plus, how could I not love guys who are so exuberant about girls?  I’m a girl!  I love that!

Listen/Download here.

Super fine, mighty fine, sugar and spice, everything nice, a-ha-ha…

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