Thursday, May 31, 2007

All Girl Summer Fun Band - Jason Lee

Have you ever sat around and thought, wow, I really wish there was a cute and sugary song about falling in love with Jason Lee. I bet this person has. But there's a chance they're already too busy listening to that one Jack Johnson song that sounds like that other Jack Johnson song that sounds like every other Jack Johnson song.

So if you scour google images for that one Jason Lee picture you might be missing in your collection or if you're like me and you take your Jason Lee periodically in small to medium sized doses, you'll probably like this song. Actually even if you could care less about the guy I think you'll still enjoy it.

All Girl Summer Fun Band - Jason Lee

"I couldn't sleep last night, I turned on the TV,
it was one of those late-night talk shows.
And sitting there with Carson D. slagging MTV
was Jason Lee, doing kick flips in my dreams, Jason Lee.
I never realized how much you are just like me.
I used to skateboard, but I wasn't very good
We both like obscure music, and we're both 33.
Jason Lee, doing one-nine-oh degrees, Jason Lee
(they say) Never fall in love with a celebrity
it's just weird and it's wrong, except with you and me
I don't care what they say, this was meant to be
Take me to your movie premier, wearing cheap clothes, smuggling beer
I don't care for Hollywood, but I'd kiss you if I could
Jason Lee, doing kick flips in my dreams, Jason Lee"

Now one thing that many people don't know about is before he became Brodie Bruce (Mallrats) , Bank Edwards (Chasing Amy) and most famous of all, Earl Hickey, Jason Lee was a professional skateboarder. Here's an old video of his previous life-

And speaking of the obscure music line, I did a little research, and the guy knows his stuff. His 12 "Must-Own" records are:

1) Cocteau Twins: Blue Bell Knoll (1988)
"When I was 18 (1988) my girlfriend gave me this CD for my birthday. She was way ahead of the curve when it came to music. I wasn't. It's still my favorite album of all time."

2) Midlake: Bamnan and Silvercork (2004)
"A five-piece band from Denton, Texas, that makes incredibly amazing music. There hasn't been a week since I've had the CD that I haven't listened to it, and I got over a year ago."

3) Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (1970)
"A genius, a real genius. It's sad to think that with how good he was, and for so long, it would take a VW commercial, of all things, to bring him to the public eye."

4) Miles Davis: A Kind of Blue (1959)
"Like a great, classic film. And as with great, classic films, all you want to do is watch them over & over."

5) Explosions In The Sky: The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place (2003)
"Another Texas band. Triumphant, classical-like compositions that would make the likes of Beethoven proud."

6) Interpol: Turn On The Bright Lights (2002)
"When this came out, being the skeptical dude that I am when it comes to 'what's hot." I didn't bite. A long time later, I bought it. Am I happy that I did? Absolutely."

7) Beck: Sea Change (2002)
"I don't want to label this one as just a great road-trip album, but it has that quality, especially " ' The Golden Age.' "

8 ) Bob Dylan: Desire (1976)
"Speaking of great road-trip albums, this is a great piece of music to listen to while driving somewhere through the desert on a hot summer day...with the windows rolled down."

9) Radiohead: Kid A (2000)
"As much as I like OK Computer, Kid A grew on me the way no other Radiohead album had."

10) Grandaddy: The Sophtware Slump (2000)
"The opening track, 'He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot,' absolutely blew my mind when I first heard it. It was from this track that my wife, Beth, came up with the name Pilot for our son."

11) Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun (2001)
"The singer plays the guitar with a bow & sings in a way that you'd think he was female. A beautiful & very unique sound."

12) Bjork: Vespertine (2001)
"It's very simply a perfect album from start to finish, and one that somehow makes me envious. I mean, how can one be that good?"

Yeah, I can see how Jason Lee can be crushworthy. However, that whole scientologist thing can be a turn-off. Plus, he's going to be playing Dave in the upcoming CGI "Alvin and the Chipmunks" movie...doesn't that make you feel kinda awkward? But whatever Jason, no matter what questionable career moves you make, you'll still kick flip within my dreams! (He was pretty badass in "Vanilla Sky.")

All Girl Summer Fun Band -2

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Guided by Voices - Game of Pricks

This could be my favorite Guided by Voices song. It's so hard to say, as they're masters of the fleeting yet brilliant lo-fi pop song. "Game of Pricks" clocks in at 2:15. It's from their 1995 album Alien Lanes, and depending on who you ask, you'll typically hear that it's their second best, or best release. In the cases of it being second, Bee Thousand is always what tops the list. That album's name actually comes from a mispelling of "Beethoven's 2nd" at a drive-in theater. Probably the best thing to come of of that movie.

Guided by Voices - Game of Pricks

"I've waited too long to have you
Hide in the back of me
I've cheated so long I wonder
How you keep track of me

You could never be strong
You can only be free
And I never asked for the truth
But you owe that to me

I've entered the game of pricks
With knives in the back of me
Can't call you or on you no more
When they're attacking me

I'll climb up on the house
Weep to water the trees
And when you come calling me down
I'll put on my disease

You could never be strong
You can only be free
And I never asked for the truth
But you owe that to me
And I never asked for the truth
But you owe that to me
And I never asked for the truth
But you owe that to me"

On the meaning of the song, Robert has said

"It had to do with dealing with people who I didnt think were being straight-up with me, and that's . . . that's the game of pricks. Turns out I was totally paranoid - it's not as bad as I thought it was". Oh and by "pricks" it's a reference to how not realizing whether something is true or a lie "pricks away at you." You's not like that.

Now a live in-store performance of the song from 2002. Watch at 2:00 for the guitarist's sunglasses falling back down on his face in cue with the song's end. Impressive. I'm liking the mic chord spin at 1:03 as well-

Guided by Voices - Alien Lanes

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Architecture in Helsinki - Like It or Not

Here's a brand new Architecture in Helsinki song, "Like It or Not" from their upcoming record Places Like This. It comes out on September 7th, and is their first full length release on Polyvinyl Records.

The song is a tad different than their sound on their previous record In Case We Die. For one the male vocals are noticably louder and actually belted out, a stark contrast to his previous singing voice which barely rose above a whisper. You could also say it's a little less twee than before, as the instruments sound as they're with more force and vigour. Each clearly make their presence known and never does one seem displaced within the mix. Though there's these various differences in their sound, one thing that remains consistent is the catchiness and danceability.

Architecture in Helsinki - Like It or Not

To the left is a huge scan of the new album's cover art. Very nice. Looks like it would be a cool thing to have on vinyl.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Olivia Tremor Control - Hideway

Okay, okay, so I've already made an entry about this song, but this current post will be far from a rehash. Besides, it's not like the mp3 links in that post work correctly anyways. The place where I used to host my files suddenly changed their individual upload limit from 10 megs to 2 megs, making any file I've previously uploaded only play for 10- 30 seconds. Lame.

So in that entry I've already expressed how much I love the song. It's one of my top 10 ever actually. One thing though that's perplexing is what the song is actually called. I referred to it as "Hideaway," however on the actual Black Foliage booklet it says "Hideway." Now in any other case I'd just admit to making an error, but on the OTC mp3 page on Elephant Six website, the song is "Hideaway." Which one is it? To balance it out I guess I'll have one entry for each.

A thing I didn't mention about the song in the last entry is that the acoustic guitar on it is played by Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes and the Late B.P. Helium (Brian Poole/ Brian Helium.) Another fun fact is that by the end of the song 10 acoustic guitars are playing simultaneously. As the song progresses, two guitars are added at a time to the mix. It's a subtle change, something that you wouldn't even notice without knowing before hand, but if you listen closely, you can definitely tell when guitars are added.

The Olivia Tremor Control - Hideway

"Don't hideaway, hideaway from your imagery
Don't hideaway, hideaway from all your daydreams
(or your nightmares)

What is to fear when surrounded in apathy
When putting down words is just like pulling teeth away

And I know some kind of rain will fall
But it can't rain everyday

Don't hideaway, hideaway from your intricacies
and don't hideaway, hideaway from all your obliques
(it's all out there)

There's no need to fear all those things in your histories
When putting down words is like putting things away

So long seku, goodbye wren"

The album this song comes from, Black Foliage: Animation Music, the second of the Olivia Tremor Control's only two albums has one of the most interesting concepts of any record I own. From the album's linear notes:

"The ideas as Black Foliage began was to take a section of the guitar line from Black Foliage (now called itself) and make a set of animated departures stemming from that bass guitar melody, twisting it to many variations". It goes on to state that elements of songs were reconstructed and sampled to use into the subsequent songs, with an example of track 1's vocals being reworked into the second track, with that reworking them being modified again to fit into track 3. The album continues on like this until the end. It's a really fascinating listen, incredibly different from their previous album Dusk at Cubist Castle in structure. That base album was recorded on a mere 4-track, and after its completion was further edited by the Elephant Six Orchestra, which featured Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum and Julian Koster, as well as Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo. It's really fantastic.

Lastly I noticed that my Best Of The Olivia Tremor Control mix from the previous post is still working, so for that, go here. It features some of the best pop songs the band has ever written, some that in my opinion are good enough to be held in the same stature as those from the original British invasion (+ the Beach Boys.) But go buy the actual records of course. They're both modern day classics.

The Olivia Tremor Control - Music From the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle @

The Olivia Tremor Control - Black Foliage: Animation Music @

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bright Eyes + Gillian Welch - Lua

First off, this picture is not mine. It's from this blog, and isn't even from the show I went to last night in Boston, but one last week in Columbus. I just wanted to give the due credit before getting started on this entry.

Now, Bright Eyes. I'd previously seen Bright Eyes twice- the first time in February 2004 at Lupo's in Providence RI. M. Ward and Jim James of My Morning Jacket also played that show. The setlist mostly consisted of songs from Lifted Or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground and early versions of future I'm Wide Awake It's Morning tracks. The second was in August 2005 at the Newport Folk Festival, and was heavy I'm Wide Awake It's Morning based. Now in May 2007, the show is completely different. As it was in support of the new album Cassadaga, songs from it made up a good amount of the setlist, 50% to be exact. I'm not crazy about the record (and doubt I ever will be) but he played some of the songs that I really like on it ("Make a Plan to Love Me" and "Four Winds.") The stage setup was much more elaborate than my previous Bright Eyes shows, where besides lighting there was no performance enhancing technology present. This time there was a huge projection screen which a crew member controlled what it showed live during the show. For example at times he scribbled on it with markers, showed pictures, finger painted, played with the Cassadaga cover art and etc. There were of course pre-recorded backgrounds aired too during particular songs. Additionally the stage was adorned with dozens of fake flowers as well as all the band members being dressed completely in white. The stage was packed, with 20+ people playing instruments at times. There was a string sextet, 2 (female) drummers, as well as trumpet, bass, mandolin, violin, steel guitar, and keyboard as well. Here's the full setlist-

Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)
Hot Knives
Make A Plan To Love Me
Four Winds
First Day Of My Life
No One Would Riot For Less
The Calendar Hung Itself
Gold Mine Gutted
Cleanse Song
Soul Singer In A Session Band
I Believe In Symmetry

A Man Named Truth
Look At Miss Ohio
Road To Joy

Highlights were "The Calendar Hung Itself," "First Day of My Life," "Lua," and "Road to Joy." I was estatic to hear "The Calendar Hung Itself," by far the oldest song in the setlist (from 2000's Fevers and Mirrors) and it sounded fantastic with a full band and the pulsing dual drum section. "First Day of My Life" was a different arrangement than the version on I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and was an intersting surprise to hear. It seemed like the majority of attendees were unsure to which song it was before the first lyric. "Lua" was inarguably the highlight of the night. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings joined a lone Conor onstage to perform a version of the song that could rival the album version. Here's an mp3 of this version from the May 2nd performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in CA.

Bright Eyes & Gillian Welch - Lua

"Well, I know that it is freezing
But I think we'll have to walk
Keep waving at the taxis
They keep turning their lights off
But Julie knows a party
At some actor's West Side loft
Supplies are endless in the evening
By the morning they'll be gone

When everything is lonely
I can be my own best friend
Get a coffee and the paper
Have my own conversations
With the sidewalk and the pigeons
And my window reflection
The mask I polish in the evening
By the morning looks like shit

And I know you have a heavy heart
I can feel it when we kiss
And many men stronger than me
Have thrown their backs out trying to lift it
But me, I'm not a gamble
You can count on me to split
The love I sell you in the evening
By the morning won't exist

You're looking skinny like a model
With your eyes all painted black
Keep going to the bathroom
Always say you'll be right back
Well, it takes one to know one, kid
I think you've got it bad
But what's so easy in the evening
By the morning's such a drag

I've got a flask inside my pocket
We can share it on the train
And if you promise to stay conscious
I will try and do the same
Yeah, we might die from medication
But we sure killed all the pain
But what was normal in the evening
By the morning seems insane

And I'm not sure what the trouble was
That started all of this
The reasons all have run away
But the feeling never did
It's not something I would recommend
But it is one way to live
Because what is simple in the moonlight
By the morning never is

Yeah, it was simple in the moonlight
Now it's so complicated
It was so simple in the moonlight
So simple in the moonlight
So simple in the moonlight"

Now the closer, Road to Joy was perhaps the most intense ending to a set that I've ever witnessed. Conor didn't even wait for the "Let's fuck it up boys, MAKE SOME NOISE" cue for the musical dissonance and proceeded to aggressively untune his guitar and rip off several of the strings. The flower setup was then torn to pieces and thrown into the audience as well as drum sticks and maracas. By the end I think I counted 25 people on stage doing their best to break the Beethoven melody into eventual and complete cacophony that lasted for a good five minutes. Drum sets were toppled, acoustic guitar...smashed and stepped through. A flower pot was thrown onto a keyboard to continue the noise long after the majority of the band left the stage. A sole saxaphone player remained who stood on top of a box about 8 feet tall, screeching through the notes until he was finally pulled down and the lights were turned on.

The openers, Oakley Hall and Gillian Welch both were excellent. There was never a moment where you sat just wishing they would hurry on up and get to the headliner. Conor even came out during the last Oakley Hall song to play maracas.

Now here's two videos of Lua, the first a live version with Gillian and the second the normal music video.

Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning @

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Jesus and Mary Chain - All Things Must Pass

Oh what's this? A brand-new Jesus and Mary Chain song? Wowza.

This song made its way into a few of their recent setlists, most notably during their headlining slot at Coachella. More recently they played this song on Tuesday night's David Letterman, where this mp3 comes from. Sorry to disappoint if you were expecting a studio version. However I tweaked the levels a bit from the HDTV source rip and it sounds excellent. For the song itself, I'm pleasantly surprised. Of course it's no "Some Candy Talking," but when to take in consideration that we're still in the earliest stages of the reunion and that we already have new material, I'm very happy. Things are looking up for their planned new record.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - All Things Must Pass

Here's the performance itself-

The Jesus and Mary Chain @

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Slowdive - Machine Gun

Shoegaze. That term and My Bloody Valentine go hand in hand nowadays. However there's much more that genre has to offer than just Loveless. To name a few there's Galaxie 500, Spaceman 3, Spiritualized, Ride, and this here band, Slowdive. Though Loveless is obviously considered the shoegaze masterpiece, the Slowdive album Souvlaki would come in a close second.
There's some moments on this record even that I find superior to the Loveless behemoth, "Machine Gun" in particular. This song has such an asphyxiating quality to it... while listening your head begins to feel lighter and your body seems to slow down. Correspondingly, the lyrics have several references to drowning and being pulled under water. The way the song is produced gives you this sensation of being completely overcome, something that mirrors the descriptions of helpless and both physical and emotional engulfing in the lyrics. I feel this song would be perfect for a slow motion cinematic death scene, tragic in nature but beautiful in execution. This song is really something.

Slowdive - Machine Gun

"See you walking and I know shes my friend, again
Just the weight of the water drags me down, again
Guess I'll think of the water its my friend, oh yeah
It's just the way that the water makes me feel again

Son of sheba I saw him drown
Son of yellow I saw him drown
It's all I need, yeah"

A live performance-

Slowdive- Souvlaki @

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The B-52's - Dance this Mess Around

The B-52's debut album is one of the most enjoyable plays in my collection. You can listen to it regardless of your mood, and you're practically guaranteed to have a good time. Also it's an album that I'd include in my list of top 10 debut albums ever. The others are in no specific order : The Velvet Underground & Nico, Talking Heads - '77, The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy, Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted, The Violent Femmes - s/t, Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures, Television - Marquee Moon, Devo - Q- Are We Not Men A- We Are Devo!, and Weezer - The Blue Album.

Apart from the undeniable classic that is "Rock Lobster," "Dance this Mess Around" is my favorite song on the album. It's one of those songs that's so good you simply cannot choose just one favorite part. You'll hear a section, think wow- this is totally awesome. How can it get better than this? Then the next part comes, leaving you dazed and sorry to have even questioned. The hooks are rapid fire. It's a blast. Go have a dance party with yourself, or anyone in close proximity. Just go for it.

You know who else is a big fan of this song? Michael Showalter from Stella. He lists it as his 7th favorite song ever (#1 being the Pixies "Wave of Mutilation.") Nice going. I sure do miss Stella.

The B-52's - Dance this Mess Around

"Remember when you held my hand
Remember when you were my man
Walk talk in the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over, think it over
Roll it over in your mind
Why don't you dance with me
I'm not no Limburger
Just a limburger

Dance this mess around
Dance this mess around, 'round, 'round

Everybody goes to parties
They dance this mess around
They do the Shu-ga-loo
Do the Shy Tuna
Do the Camel Walk
Do the Hip-o-crit

Ah-Hippy Hippy forward Hippy Hippy
Hippy Shake, Hippy Shake

Oh-it's time to do 'em right
Hey now, don't that make you feel a whole lot better?
I say, don't that make you feel a whole lot better

What you say?
I'm just askin'


Everybody goes to parties
They dance this mess around
They do all 16 dances
Do the Coo-ca-choo
Do the Aqua-velva
Do the Dirty Dog
Do the Escalator

Ah-Hippy Hippy forward Hippy Hippy
Hippy Shake, Hippy Shake

It's time to do 'em right
Hey! Fred, now don't that make you feel a whole lot better now?

Say, don't that make you feel a whole lot better?

What you say?
I'm just askin'"

Now for a performance of the song circa 1979. What a great performance. I'd love to see them live sometime. I wonder if they still can put on a killer show. I probably would have to take a bathroom break during "Love Shack" however...I still can't stand that song.

The B-52's - B-52's @

Friday, May 18, 2007

Death from Above 1979 - Romantic Rights

Today is Human Giant day! My favorite show that's been on MTV since Clone High (excluding Wonder Showzen on MTV2) is being broadcast for 24 hours. Actually, to clarify, the show itself isn't going to be on for 24 hours, but rather anything that Aziz Ansari, Rob Hubel and Paul Sheer wish to air. So far Mastadon, Ted Leo, the Walkmen and one of my personal favorite comedians Eugene Mirman have showed up as guests, with more to come. The goal of this day is to get 1,000,000 unique hits to, or the show gets cancelled.

Now is this legit or simply a marketing ploy? Will we be getting a second season regardless or will today actually determine the show's fate? We will see. Later Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Showalter, and Bob Odenkirk will be on, so I'm staying tuned in.

One of my favorite aspects of the show is the music. Pavement, Devendra Banhart, Iron & Wine, Ted Leo, Tapes 'N Tapes and many other indie acts have all been featured. Death from Above 1979's "Romantic Rights" is the theme, which I've posted below.

Death from Above 1979 - Romantic Rights

I'll end this entry with my two favorite Human Giant clips. The first "Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru" is about the power of blogs in breaking a band, specifically Tapes 'N Tapes. It's pretty hilarious.

Death from Above 1979 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine @

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Pixies - I Can't Forget

Pixies always had choice cover songs. The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Neil Young...Leonard Cohen. Their cover of "I Can't Forget" comes from a 1991 tribute album entitled I'm Your Fan, a record that also featured R.E.M, John Cale, Nick Cave and a bunch of other artists that no one particularly cares about. The best thing with the songs the Pixies choose to cover is that they truely make the songs their own. If you weren't aware of the song being a cover, in the Pixies case it may as well be an original. I even made this mistake a few entries back with "You Can't Break a Heart and Have It." Very few bands are able to pull of such covers where it doesn't even cross your mind that it wasn't penned by them. Two other examples capable of this I feel are Galaxie 500 and Cat Power. Anyways, "I Can't Forget" is no exception to the Pixies string of solid covers. They transform the loungey new-wave of the Cohen original into huge guitar-driven rock number. It's excellent.

The Pixies - I Can't Forget

However, I'm not trying to undermine the original, which is great in a laid-back 'wear your sunglasses indoors' way. I've noticed makes great late night listening for mid-week days. Charles (Black Francis for you non-elistist Pixies fans) actually said the record where this Cohen song comes from, I'm Your Man, is his favorite record ever. In the 33 1/3 book about Doolittle there's a part where during an in-car interview he needs to make a stop into a local record store to buy a copy (as well as an Iggy Pop album and Doolittle.) When I finally listened to the record (my first exposure to Leonard Cohen) I was really surprised. Other artists I discovered by his influences I could hear little bits where I could see how they formed the groundwork to the Pixies' music (specifically Captain Beefheart and Pere Ubu), but this Cohen album wasn't like that at all. The album is very new-wavey and at times pretty cornball with synth hit and excessive background vocalists. But at the same time it's really good and somehow "cool." But not "cool" like that middle school phase where boys do stupid things to their hair with gel, but rather a little kid with huge sunglasses and a bright neon shirt using some inanimate object as a microphone, belting out whatever he damn well pleases. It's cool without trying to be and maintaining one's individuality while being open to new things.

Leonard Cohen - I Can't Forget

"I stumbled out of bed
I got ready for the struggle
I smoked a cigarette
And I tightened up my gut
I said this can't be me
Must be my double
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember what
I'm burning up the road
I'm heading down to Phoenix
I got this old address
Of someone that I knew
It was high and fine and free
Ah, you should have seen us
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember who

I'll be there today
With a big bouquet of cactus
I got this rig that runs on memories
And I promise, cross my heart,
They'll never catch us
But if they do, just tell them it was me

Yeah I loved you all my life
And that's how I want to end it
The summer's almost gone
The winter's tuning up
Yeah, the summer's gone
But a lot goes on forever
And I can't forget, I can't forget
I can't forget but I don't remember what"

The Pixies @

Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man @

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Magnetic Fields - Why I Cry

The Magnetic Fields are my favorite band. Now normally The Pixies would be my reply to that question. However I have been enjoying the work of Mr. Merritt so much lately that I think I might have to move them to that coveted spot. It's a difficult thing to say, as I've had much history with the Pixies. Then I need to shape Joanna Newsom into this judgement, my favorite musical thing in the world right now. She's not a band though, but rather is a singer/songwriter per se. I hate that terminology. In any case 69 Love Songs is my favorite album ever. This entry is my 69th since starting the blog. How better to celebrate than the Magnetic Fields?

My favorite Magnetic Fields song isn't on 69 Love Songs however. "Why I Cry" comes from their 1995 album Get Lost. It's one of those albums where as a whole it isn't as good as the previous record, but the best songs are better than the best of the previous. So in this case Get Lost is not as good as Holiday, yet "Why I Cry" and "All the Umbrellas in London" are better than Holiday's best tracks. Actually this song is how I discovered the Magnetic Fields. The Adventures of Pete and Pete, what I regard as the greatest television show ever, bar none contained three Magnetic Fields songs on its soundtrack as well as one from the 6ths and one from the Gothic Archies, two Stephin Merritt's side projects. Well the Magnetic Fields songs on the show were "The Flowers She Sent and the Flowers She Said She Sent," "Lovers from the Moon" and "Why I Cry." Typically the music is mixed into the show's background during a particularly emotional or poignant scene. "Why I Cry" however was played during the credits of Farewell My Little Viking Pt. 2, the episode where Artie leaves the show. I'll admit to shedding a few tears to this episode. So when I was sitting there in from of the TV emotionally distraught I heard the song come on and was taken aback. It was perfect. It's now one of my Top 10 songs ever.

The Magnetic Fields - Why I Cry

"All the summer days
Where we used to play
Walking hand in hand
Castles in the sand

So you say good night
But you meant good bye
Now our love has died
This is why I cry

From the madding crowd
Pointing up at clouds
Summer turned to fall
Pictures on the wall"

Ben Gibbard's first Death Cab for Cutie side-project All-Time Quarterback did a cover of the song in 1999. He sings in a strange falsetto for it, something which if you didn't know about before hand, you'd mistake the vocalist as a female. For being recorded on a Walkman, it's pretty good. It's got nothing on the original however.

All-Time Quarterback - Why I Cry

Farewell My Little Viking end credits-

The Adventures of Pete and Pete Season 1 (For $13.99 this is the deal of a lifetime)

The Magnetic Fields - Get Lost
All-Time Quarterback@

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Silver Apples - Oscillations

Silver Apples. If it weren't for them the Krautrock scene of the 1970's might not have existed. The band formed in 1967 in NYC, one of those lucky few who managed to hear The Velvet Underground & Nico. The band contains only two members, Danny Taylor on drums and Simeon who played a homemade synthesizer (referred to as "The Simeon.") Now get these details:

"The Simeon consisted nine audio oscillators piled on top of each other and eighty-six manual controls to control lead, rhythm and bass pulses with hands, feet and elbows". Simeon devised a system of telegraph keys and pedals to control tonality and chord changes, and reportedly never learned to play traditional piano-styled keyboards or synthesizers."

How impressive is that? The band released their first single "Oscillations" in 1968, and while it didn't do too well commercially, it was critically acclaimed and the band gained a cult following. Later that year the band released their first album Silver Apples which peaked at #193 on the Billboard top 200. The next year the follow-up Contact was released, and soon after the band broke up. There was a reunion in 1996 with a few new records, but things were put on a damper in 1999 after Simeon broke his neck in a tour bus accident. Then in 2005 Danny passed away after a heart attack. However currently Simeon has recovered but as a result of the injury has lessened movement in his hands. He now lives in Alabama where he still records music and works on his art.

Now here's Oscillations, still the best known Silver Apples song. Pitchfork recently listed their song in their Top 200 songs of the 1960's list at #120, sandwitched between "I Fought the Law" and "96 Tears." Nice.

Silver Apples - Oscillations

"Oscillations, Oscillations
Electronic evocations of sound's reality

Spinning, magnetic fluctuations, waves of wave configurations
That dance between the poles off sound and bind my world to soul

I walk the streets of moment. Head down to the ground.
Cars are stars remotely far. My only world is sound.
Passersby are worlds that fly. Far from the dance of time.
Time whirls round from pole to pole and swirls within the sound."

Silver Apples/Contact @

Monday, May 14, 2007

Herman Brood - You Can't Break a Heart and Have It

So this song is a cover huh. Shit. This is a little disappointing. Well, here's the original by Herman Brood.

Black Francis - You Can't Break a Heart and Have It

These days a new Frank Black record isn't something to get particularly excited about. Just about every year the guy puts out a record, and honestly none of them have been really exceptional since 1994's Teenager of the Year (I do enjoy Dog in the Sand quite a bit though.) So what makes this upcoming recordof his (entitled Bluefinger) any different? Well for one it's being released under the Black Francis moniker, the first time in his career he's done that. The reasoning behind it hasn't been revealed, yet some speculate that these are the songs he had written for the now scrapped Pixies reunion record. That wouldn't be too surprising has the album has a feel that's much more on the lines of Trompe Le Monde and his first two solo records rather than the "Memphis" sound on his more recent solo affairs. Bluefinger is a bit of a retread back into the prime era of Frank Black, and rather seeming like an artist trying to recapture his past glory, it's more of an artist rediscovering himself and what he does best. That said it's his best record in a long time.

My favorite song on it is called "You Can't Break a Heart and Have It" and in addition to being one of his catchiest songs in recent memory, it has a definitive Black Francis scream that I don't believe I've heard to such an extent since "U-Mass" or "The Sad Punk" off of Trompe Le Monde. This really rocks. Nice job Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV.

Black Francis - You Can't Break a Heart and Have It

As a bonus here's a video of the him on Vinyl Justice, a sketch from the UK show Adam & Joe. It's absolutely hilarious. It features impromptu versions of The Cure's "The Lovecats", Donovan's "There is a Mountain," and Roxy Music's "Dance Away." Pretty much one of the best things you can find on YouTube.

Pre-order Black Francis - Bluefinger (though i'd wait until it gets a US label)

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Arcade Fire - Cold Wind

Alright, last night I went to see the Arcade Fire in Boston- a show I wasn't intending to write about in this blog. You see, while I dig the band I feel they're totally overhyped. With countless blogs continuously flipping out over them, praising them like the second coming I felt contributing to the Arcade Fire blog spree would be, well, bandwagonesque (Teenage Fanclub, anyone?) However now that I've seen the triumph that is the Arcade Fire live, I just cannot hold my tongue.

The funny story with this show is that I wasn't originally intending on going. I wanted to, but I figured that without a pre-sale and the inevitable near instant sell-out on Ticketmaster, I couldn't go without paying an arm and leg. And simply, I don't love the band enough to pay more than $30, $40 with "conveniences" to see them. However my friend lucked out with the presale, scoring one ticket, then going on eBay to get 2 more (at $180 a pair.) I bought the ticket off of him entered the show feeling privileged, walking past the poor souls begging for extra tickets with a bit of a swagger. Then I saw my seats were three rows from the end of the theater. The Orpheum's a small theater so the view wasn't terrible, but with my friends 10+ rows ahead of me, I was more than a little envious. After the mediocore opening band, I decided to make my move, heading over to the isle seat directly behind my friends. I was crafty about it, pretending like what a coincidence it was to see them there, and proceeded to take a seat behind them to converse, as hey, it was empty. Now for the next 15 minutes or so as the theater filled I was pretty tense..what to say when the people show up looking for their seat? Well that moment came within minutes before the band took stage, a time when I was unprepared as I as beginning to think I had won. Well the couple shows up and as I do a completely conspicuous and shameless move over to the middle of the isle rather than backing out. This is when things got hot and heavy, the band took stage, "Black Mirror" started and I was getting a bit cocky. Then three songs in, I thought the deal was sealed, until finally the two stragglers come in for their seats, one reeking of beer. I first tried to not pay attention to them, getting overly involved in "Haiti" but that stalled them for a few seconds. When asking where my seat was I just said "it's all messed up now, man" with no plan of action in mind. I then played it stupid, pretending like my ticket wasn't in my pocket. I threw everything I had onto the battlefield. Thinking my stint was up I began to grab my messenger bag to proceed back to my original seat. Surpringly the guy stopped me, saying you don't need to go and that I could squeeze in behind them. I gave a very sincere and appreciative "Thanks." But then guess what!? After a couple of songs, hey said "Hey- you can get a full seat now!" and left with his bud. They came running back at the end of the set during "Rebellion" but otherwise things worked out perfectly. Yaaay!

Ok, setlist:

Black Mirror
No Cars Go
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
In the Backseat
My Body is a Cage
The Well and the Lighthouse
Ocean of Noise
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
(Antichrist Television Blues)
Keep the Car Running
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)
Neon Bible

Highlights for me were No Cars Go, Neighborhood #3 and Rebellion. Right when they began No Cars Go it was spectacular... for around 10 seconds I could feel the song flowing through my entire body. It was something I've only experienced a few times before, but is such an amazing sensation. After the show we hung outside the venue with a group of only 5 others waiting for the band. I had all six of them sign my "Keep the Car Running" 7". However we couldn't get the drummer's autograph, as honestly we weren't sure which one was the drummer. How awkward would it be going up to one of the similarly dressed stage crew members, asking for their autograph? And what if they signed?! Plus the drummer isn't even a permanent member. Look, he's not on the cover of Canadian Time. I think that says it all. I'm just trying to justify missing a member's signature here. All the members were really nice, especially Will who I talked to for quite a bit. He told me about a time three years ago when they played AS220 in Providence, and only friends and family showed up. To this I say: !??!?!?!!? Oh man... Well he told me that on the way back Win wanted to save some gas money and decided to put the car in neutral down a hill. Well he accidently put it in reverse and blew up the transmission. Oh Win. He told me my copy of Keep the Car Running was the first physical one he's seen, only previously seeing the concept art. I made history.

I was a bit unsure what Arcade Fire song to use for this entry. Then it was obvious- "Cold Wind" a song that comes from the Six Feet Under soundtrack, a show I've been meaning to watch for a long time. Soon enough Netflix will help me out with that. They also released a 7" for this track. It's excellent, much better than your average 'made for tv'song. Actually, I can't think of any other bands writing exclusive songs for television. Obviously there's a bunch, but according to me and my recollection at the moment this is the best written for tv song by an indie band ever.

The Arcade Fire - Cold Wind

"In the middle of the summer
I’m not sleeping, cold wind blowing
In the middle of the night
They try to find me but I’m still driving
If you’re going to San Francisco
Lay some flowers on the gravestone
There’s music on the station
And I’m just listening to cold wind whistling
And if they ever find me
Tell the papers
Cold wind, cold wind, cold, cold wind blowing
Cold wind blowing"

Arcade Fire @ Merge Records

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Jonathan Richman - Corner Store

Jonathan Richman is pretty important. Apparently, he's one of the founders of what we know today as "indie rock" and what was the "college rock" scene of the 80's. As the title of the blog says so, this man needs to get his dues. I'm actually new to Jonathan Richman and his band the Modern Lovers, only first listening to them within the last few months. My friend made me a custom compilation of his material, and I dug that a lot. I still have yet to persue an actual album, but I think the self-titled Modern Lovers album will be first up. Jerry Harrison, later of the Talking Heads was an original member of the band, something that makes me extra excited.

So the one track I enjoyed the most from the compilation was "Corner Store," a song about loving and supporting your neighborhood family owned businesses and hating the big name corporations that run them out of business. I've never seen the entiriety of that high-costs of Wal-Mart documentary, but I doubt they used this song in it, which is for shame.

Jonathan Richman - Corner Store

"Well I walked past just yesterday
And I couldn't bare that new mall no more
I can't expect you all to see it my way
But you may not know what was there before
And I want them to put back my old corner store.

Well I walked past just like I say
And I felt this hurt that would not go home
I can't expect that you're gonna see it my way
But you may not know the trees I've known
And I want them to put back my old corner store.

I know it costs more money to shop there
But this was love, this was love
I know you had to pay more money
I'll pay money, I'll pay more
I don't care what the mall has got
I want back that corner store

And what did I feel when I walked by slow
Sorrow sorrow, all around
Why I would feel sorrow I now know
I smell a ghost smell from the ground
That old wooden smell from the old corner store

Bam a nib a nib a nib way oh
Bam a nib a nib a way oh web oh
Bam a nib a nib a no Corner store Corner store
Bam a nib a nib a nib way oh
Bam a nib a nib a way oh web oh
Bam a nib a nib a no Corner store Corner store

I walked past one final time
And I wished the worst on the place I shop
Now I can't expect everyone to feel like I am
But I spot a trend that has got to stop
And I want them to put back that old corner store"

The Best of Jonathan Richman @

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The White Stripes - Party of Special Things to Do (Captain Beefheart cover)

The White Stripes covering Captain cool. This comes from a limited edition Sub Pop 7" the band released in 2000. I dig it a lot, though allmusic doesn't seem to think so. Then again, the reviewer appears to be a bit confused, thinking only the third track is a Captain Beefheart cover where in actuality they all are. "This record has a noisy, undeniably iconoclastic power, but unfortunately, it seems like you've heard it before". Yeah, since they're covers, dumbass.

On that note I'm going to disagree with this being a "skuzzy thump-and-grind number" and instead say that it's a great cover that certainly does the original justice. The guitar tone really rocks. Besides from that, it doesn't stray from the original too much though is more rock oriented than the psych-blues Beefheart version.

The White Stripes - Party of Special Things to Do

It doesn't beat the original though which has a great introduction that the White Stripes cut out, instead beginning with the "Stiff wind blows line."

Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band - Party of Special Things to Do

"The camel wore a nightie...

At the party of special things to do

When the stiff wind blows
The flag don't wiggle
In the party of special things to do

I met the Ace of Love
She took me to her plantation
For love without separation
In the party of special things to do
I could happen to me
It could happen to you

I met the Ace of Love
She said I want you to go
To a party of special things to do
And when you're through
I'll be right here waiting for you
Here take these sparks
So that my distant cousins can get along with you
Watch out for the Mirror Man
And Elixir Sue

Spoken: When I got to the party of special things to do it wasn't hard
to find Elixir Sue. I met all the cars, the wild cards, the One-Eye
Jills, the Red Queen. She turned her head, you know what I mean, she
turned it back and said, "I got a brand new game I want to lay on

I met them all
At the party of special things to do
When I was done
I was far from through
I returned to the Ace of Love
Now wouldn't you?"

Captain Beefheart rules. He still doesn't get dues for how influential his music was on today's experimental scene. To this day,
Trout Mask Replica is one of the craziest, most bizarre albums I've ever heard and to think what it would sound like in 1967. Wow.

Captain Beefheart - The Dust Blows Forward: An Anthology

The White Stripes @

Monday, May 7, 2007

Modest Mouse - Doin' the Cockroach

Hey now, I'm back! Summer vacation has finally arrived. This also now finally gives me the time to cover a Modest Mouse show I attended last Wednesday (5-02) as a brief escape from final exams period. As I suspected, the show was fantastic, but the crowd was horrible. So when you balance those things out, I'd say you'd get "great."

I arrived at the venue around 5:30 for the 7 PM doors and 8PM start time. Only one person was in front of me. Though waiting for 90 minutes with nothing but irrational homeless people to entertain you isn't a good time, getting right up front was. A brief note on the homeless- one who was sporting an 1980's era walkman and poofy foam headphones stood with one foot perched on a fire hydrant, fist pumping in the air chanted out the chorus to Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock" for a good minute or so. Another approached me, mumbling something about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, then shouting "You weren't even bornnnn!!" Yeah...and he wanted my money. So I finally got inside, I talked a bit to the one guy who was ahead of me in line as well as a girl who said the main reason she was here was for Johnny Marr.
The first band who played was named Love as Laughter and they almost put me to sleep. They had no stage antics whatsoever, with completely boring music to boot. The vocalist's emotionless delivery was like the retarded lovechild between Stephen Malkmus and Beck. Maybe that's giving too much praise. They could sound better on album, but live we were all just polite and clapped anyways.

Man Man next took an eternity to set up, and to be honest, their soundcheck was about 10 times as interesting as Love as Laughter. I went into the show not knowing a thing about Man Man, and I think this was for the best. They had an absurd amount of instruments with unorthodox with drums and keyboards set up in the mid-end of the stage facing each other (keyboard on the left and drums right) with the other five members playing their instruments in a semi circle around that setup. Their live show as just off the wall. Just check out the pictures I took and try and make sense of what you're seeing.

Modest Mouse took the stage later than I expected, almost 10:30. Their setlist was as follows:

Bury Me With It
Paper Thin Walls
Fire It Up
Float On
Trailer Trash
Little Motel
Tiny Cities
Missed The Boat
Doin' the Cockroach
The View
Break Through
Spitting Venom/I Came as a Rat tease

Originally "Ocean Breathes Salty" and "Fly Trapped in a Jar" were on the setlist- both of which were cut for "Dramamine," a trade I was more than happy for. Actually, that's like instead of being given a coupon for a free drink with the purchase of a burger and fries, you get free food for a year. "Dramamine" is indisputably top 5 Modest Mouse material. I was really happy with this setlist...realistically I'd expect the majority of the songs from the new album, but with 2 from This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About, 2 from Lonesome Crowded West and 2.3ish from The Moon and Antarctica, I was very happy with the setlist. Seriously- what an encore.

Now for that crowd issue I hinted at before...they were fucking dickbags, that's what they were. If you want to be in the front for a show then get in line
before everyone else like I did. Otherwise...tough shit. Might I add there is perhaps a correlation between how much one likes the Good News for People Who Love Bad News songs and how obnoxious they are. Thankfully I had a barrier to lean up against, but I was bending over the majority of the time...something my legs killed for the next day. I wonder if the crowd would have been like this in 2003, the year I started to really get into the band. It was after I shelved Weezer for the Pixies, giving them the favorite band title. I began to look to bands similar to the Pixies, finding Modest Mouse in a search. I bought The Moon and Antarctica on a whim for $8.99 and thus an obsession began. My second record was then This is a Long Drive... I remember buying this at an FYE in Ohio while visiting family. It turns out Modest Mouse was the clerk's favorite band, and he asked if I was going to the show they were playing on Friday. Turns out we flew home Friday morning. I was pretty pissed about that timing. What if I saw that show? I might have been a little wasted on me as I still hadn't discovered the masterpiece that is Lonesome Crowded West (one of my top 10 albums ever) but in hindsight I wonder how the crowd would have been if the crowd was entirely indie kids rather than this show which was indie plus alt, jam, whatever they are fans. Fans that punch each other in the heads. Seriously- during Florida there was a moment where I looked over to see a guy pushing one hand into the sholder of another, plummeting his hand into the head with the force one would use to fit a tennis ball through a bagel. You can hear it on the bootleg that I'm posting in this entry- you can hear the band getting increasingly sloppy, Isaac screaming HEY! upon first punches (much angrier and forceful than Black Francis' famous Hey) and the band eventually stopping playing completely to ask "what the fuck is going on?" The security took care of it, tossing the perpetrators. Still, I wish they would have done something about nearly getting crushed factor. After the show I met Johnny Marr outside of the venue, who was incredibly nice, though conversation was initally awkward, as we both had ringing ears. I didn't get to meet Isaac though- he was apparently still inside the venue at the bar. Oh well. Still, excellent show. I loved hearing "Trailer Trash" live in an extended version, a song a did an entry about a while back.

Modest Mouse Live @ Lupo's (Entire Show)

More Pictures

Another highlight was the second Lonesome Crowded West track "Doin' the Cockroach" which was favorite track when I first got the record. Now I've moved onto "Cowbody Dan," but this song is still completely awesome. I love this record so much...regardless to how big Modest Mouse gets and how the same people who like the Red Hot Chili Peppers will like Modest Mouse and how alienated I grow to feel, I'll always have this album- and this album + me alone in my bed (or loud in the car, it's a great road trip album) can't be beat. Until the day when I get it on vinyl, but the $200 eBay prices aren't likely. Hey you Up records! reissuereissuereissue

Modest Mouse - Doin' the Cockroach

"I was in heaven
I was in hell
Believe in neither
But fear them as well

This one's a doctor
This one's a lawyer
This one's a cash thief
Takin' your money

Back in the Metro
Ride on a Greyhound
Drunk on the Amtrack
Please shut up!

Another rider
He was a talker
Talking about TV
Please shut up!

This one's a crazer
Day-dreaming disaster
The origin of junk food
Rutting through garbage

Tasty but worthless
Dogs eat their own shit
We're doing the cockroach, yeah

Doin' the cockroach, yeah
Doin' the cockroach, yeah
All right, not bad

One year
Twenty years
Fourty years
Fifty years
Down the road in your life
You'll look in the mirror and say
"My parents are still alive!"

You move your mouth
You shake your tongue
You vibrate my eardrums
You're saying words
But you know I ain't listening

You're walking down the street
Your face
Your lips
Your hips
Your eyes
They meet
You're not hungry though

Well, late last winter
Down below the equator
They had a summer that would make you blister

Oh, my mind is all made up
So I'll have to sleep in it

Well, late last winter
Down below the equator
They had a summer that would make you blister

Oh, my mind is all made up
So I'll have to sleep in it

Well, late last winter
Down below the equator
They had a summer that would make you blister, yeah!

Oh, my mind is all
Oh, my mind is all
Oh, my mind is all made up
So I'll have to sleep in it"

We're all doing the cockroach, as in while we think we're advancing from generation, we're really not learning anything. While we can discover new aspects about the world, our interpersonal relationships and ultimately human nature is static. At the core we're all ultimately the same, and our own personal choices, life paths, and interests are secondary and ultimately dismissible. One day, be it sometime soon or far into the future we will look into the mirror and see that we have become our parents.

Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West @ ($10- a steal!)