Monday, March 31, 2008

Hitchens on Hillary

He's talked a lot of bullshit about Iraq, and last week I was annoyed by the shallowness of his anti-Obama screed, but I still can't get enough of Christopher Hitchens when he's trashing the Clintons.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rising Down

The Roots have a new album coming out next month! Check out the first video, in which they....brutally murder some white guy. Not sure what that's about, but I'm sure they had a good reason. It definitely sounds like they're further exploring the dark, driven, rock sound that they brought to a new level on their last album.

PS. Despite the glibness of my above remark, if I really put some thought into it, I'd say that they're brutally murdering the white guy as a metaphor for black people taking revenge for all the historical wrongs done to them, and choosing to become the oppressors themselves, in a sort of a reverse-apartheid fantasy. Maybe not the most sophisticated political statement, but rather than step into a HUGE pile of shit by analyzing it further, I'm just going to stop there for this morning.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Revisiting Roxy Music

In the spirit of revisiting ELO, I've decided this blog is the perfect place for me to finally begin preaching about the glory of Roxy Music. Not crappy Bryan Ferry as lounge singer/Avalon era Roxy Music. Screw that band. No, I'm talking about Roxy Music when they first started - when it was all about Brin Eno and a crazy group of musicians playing this insane mash-up of Bowie-esque glam and old school rock, all while being Elton John-sized showmen. They were great. Sadly, that version of the band only last one album (their eponymous debut), but man what an album. I highly doubt anyone other then possible Dr. Kittybrains is into this album, but you really should listen to it.

To whet your appetite, here is a brilliant live performance of the opening track. For reasons unknown to me I can't embed the video, so you'll have to settle for clicking on this link. Enjoy:


A Reconsideration: Revisited

True to my word, I did pick up ELO's Out of the Blue used the other day (that makes two CD's I've purchased entirely because of this blog, which makes it a success for the music industry!). It was funny to listen to it because now this kind of shit is so up my alley-- lush, totally over the top arrangements and ear-candy melodies-- but when I was younger and just getting into music for real, I would have thrown it out because it had - *gasp* synthesizers and *shudder* sessions musicians and *horror* platinum success. (I was really into the "authenticity" of self contained bands that wrote and played everything like The Beatles, of course, or The Clash (on their first album, which was my favorite at the time) or The Band's Music from Big Pink where even the horns were played by the band.

ANYWAY, I'm kind of loving this ELO album (though it's still sort of a guilty pleasure), and I now want to buy all their big albums. I'm especially fond of the song "Telephone Line," (not on this album-- from the one before), which was used to great effect in Billy Madison when Steve Buscemi crosses Billy off of his "People to Kill" list before incongruously applying dark red lipstick to his face.

But in answer to Dr. K's question about when someone's going to bring this sound back, I think that the Apples in Stereo (and to a lesser extent of Montreal) were right in this pocket on their last album:

Down to the vocodered-vocals. No vibra-slap though.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Space Monkey

I think you guys are mostly unfamiliar with them, so I want to recommend the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts, of which I'm a pretty big fan. It's a very simple format: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (creators of The Office and Extras) sit around with their friend Karl Pilkington; Karl speaks about various topics, and they make fun of him for being an idiot. One of their funniest regular segments is called "Monkey News", in which Karl reads news items he's found on the internet about monkeys. Below is a fan-video animation of a Monkey News segment, which Ricky loved and is plugging on his website.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Andrew Bird's New EP - Soldier On

I assume a few of you already have this, but here it is anyway. This is the first, and best, track off of Solider On, which as far as I can tell is only available online or mailorder from France. I highly recommend.

The Trees Were Mistaken

I love the drum loop. So much more dynamic percussively than Dosh's work on Armchair. Or at least much higher in the mix than most of the drums on that album.
Soldier On also contains a Bird track from the Janet Reno-currated Songs of America compilation!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Speech

I'm ready to say that this speech was better than any I can remember hearing from a mainstream politician in my lifetime, and contained a more nuanced, bold, accurate discussion of race than I ever expected to hear from a politician in my lifetime. One of the main criticisms I've heard voiced about it so far is that perhaps it's too nuanced, too brave for many voters to take, and too complicated to be digested in our crass, soundbite-and-spin oriented media-industrial complex. I don't want to believe that that's the case. I'd like to think that a politician this thoughtful, nuanced, and principled is exactly the sort of candidate who ought to do well in a country that is surely hungry for a change from the last eight terrible years. All I can say is: I supported Obama before today, but this was the moment when I started to truly believe that he had it in him to be a historically momentous president. And not because of the color of his skin, (and I can't really speak to the true content of his character) but because he's ready to talk about real, divisive, historic problems like race with a depth and seriousness that no other major politician seems to be able or willing to do. He's not pandering to anybody, and he's not ready to throw his longtime friend and pastor under the train for political expedience (the way I have to imagine the Clintons would do in a second), but instead tries to give us a real explanation of his relationship to his pastor, even if that explanation is possibly too complicated to play well on the 24-hour news stations.

If the Clintons somehow manage to wring the nomination out of the next few primaries, we'll be fools for electing them over this guy. If the Clintons manage to get the nomination through back-room shenanigans even after losing the popular vote, then the Democratic party is very possibly going to lose me forever, and it may indeed risk losing a whole generation of younger voters.

"Dedicated to Johnny Cash, A Real American Gangster"

Who would have guessed that even Snoop Dogg would one day cut a Honky Hop track? Drischord, I'm afraid that ship has sailed without us.

"Girl my love's gonna last just as long as my high...and I'm high all day, every day."

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Reconsideration

All right, without telling you guys who this is, or when it's from, I'm curious as to whether it's insanely obvious or not. No looking it up. Listening to this yesterday made me think - shit, I think somebody's going to bring this sound back sooner rather than later. What do you guys think?

(And does anyone know who/what/when this is just from listening? I purposely went for a deep cut.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Following Up On The Dirty Projectors

I thought I'd go ahead and post a couple of tracks from my favorite album of 2007. I'm curious to hear what ya'll think.
The gimmick of the record is that they took the lyrics from Black Flag's Damaged and wrote new music. New GREAT music, I say.
These two are a couple of the mellower songs on the record, but two of my favorites.

Rise Above - Dirty Projectors

download 'Rise Above'

Thirsty and Miserable - Dirty Projectors

download 'Thirsty and Miserable'

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Funny that Drischord mentioned the new Malkmus album as I just picked it up and was coming here to discuss. I have never listened to his solo stuff for some reason. But as of late I've been listening to a lot of Pavement, and I liked the song the AV Club included in their review, so I decided to give it a shot.

So, first things first, this is most defnitely NOT Pavement. I'm with D on that. It seems that Malkmus has really established his own thing with the Jicks now, and that thing is distinctly different from Pavement. Although his voice and guitar style is so distinct that it can't ever get 100% separated from Pavement. But purely on it's own merits I think the album is pretty fantastic. It's very jammy - there are a bunch of songs that clock in over 5 minutes (and one 10 minute one) and usually that's because the songs end in a giant rock out. So if you're looking for the tight little songs from Slanted, or the weird experiments of Wowee Zowee they're not here. What replaces them are these crazy freak out jams. Here's the first track, which is suitably odd, but then finds this great groove at the end that Ijust love. Check out the guitar stuff around the 4 minute mark that sounds more like Queens of the Stone Age then Pavement.

So this makes me curious to check out his other 3 solo albums to see if this is a new rock out style or if this is what he's been doing ever since Pavement.

Anyone else pick this up yet? Do you like it, or is it too over-indulgent, which, I'll be the first to admit, is something that defintely does not scare me away.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Blitzen Trapper

Saw these guys live a week ago. I can't say they put on such a great show, but they have a few good tunes and this is one of them. (How's that for tepid?)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tweedy On Migraines

Jeff Tweedy posted on the New York Times' Migraine blog:

That New Gnarls Barkley Thing

I'm not sure what the general take is from you folk on Gnarls Barkley. I liked Crazy enough, but didn't think it was that amazing. I only heard that album once, and had the same basic reaction - good but not enough to inspire me to buy it (but then again, few hip hop albums do get me in that way). But I'm kind of in love with the new single. Here's the video.

As an added bonus, the video may causes seizures in those who are prone to that sort of thing, so, you know, be careful.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bon Iver

This is the album of the moment for me. Stunningly gorgeous acoustic music made in the woods.

Dungeons and Dragons

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wilco on SNL

For those of you that missed it, here is Wilco on SNL doing my least favorite song from SBS, 'Hate It Here'.
Suprisingly, I actually thought this came off better than the second song they did, the far superior 'Walken'. Or maybe I was just distracted by Tweedy's hideous jacket.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Rainbow Stew

Hey all you tree-hugging hippies, take heart! Merle Haggard really does want to believe in your utopian visions, and he'd drink your hippie kool-aid if he could. It's just that no matter how hard he tries, he can't get beyond a tongue-in-cheek endorsement.