This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Modest Mouse's new album - or - at least Johnny Marr ain't singin'

So I've had the new Modest Mouse album for about a week now. The awkwardly titled We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (c'mon, Isaac, couldn't you have done better than that?) has been a hotly anticipated release for two reasons. Firstly, their last album turned them from an oddball major-label act toiling in relative obscurity into MTV stars via the fluke hit "Float On," which became a summer anthem despite its idiosyncrasies. Secondly, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who wrote some of the greatest rock songs ever (as well as being one of the genre's best players), signed on as guitarist and songwriting partner.

So the indie community waited with bated breath for more than two years to see how the group would follow up their freak platinum album. Having heard it, all I can say is, well, more of the same, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Had "Float On" not been a top 40 single and Johnny Marr not joined, it would have been just another Modest Mouse album - full of spazzy anti-grooves and Isaac Brock's jittery yelp. Still, it's a much more accessible work than it's predecessor, even in the case of the ambitious "Spitting Venom" (my favorite on the record).

Speaking of Marr, his presence here is rather negligible. Those like me who were hoping for the jaw-dropping ringing leads he lent to the Smiths will be disappointed. I dunno why I had my hopes up; after all, he hasn't played like that since the Smiths broke up, not even when he was in Electronic or The The.

So was it worth the wait? Yeah, but it's not going to change your life any more or less than The Moon and Antarctica. It's certainly more engaging than whatever shiny turd Norah Jones is hurling at gawkers on the other side of the cage, so let's at least hope the boys have another fluke hit, if for no other reason than to make radio tolerable for another four minutes at a time this spring.

We've Got Everything -

Invisible -

Spitting Venom -

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Bim bam bum!" - Xavier Cugat

Like all good music nerds, I will occasionally develop a completely inexplicable obsession, much to the chagrin of the discerning dorks who are my friends. When this dovetails with a new found musical love that blossomed out of a random purchase made because of attractive cover art, well, I think you'll find some smilin' fates (although, they might just be smirking that awful ironic hipster smirk, but that's a whole 'nother realm, bois and gurls).

Such is the case for my latest crush, Latin bandleader Xavier Cugat. Thanks to Orpheus Records deciding to break their world music section up into regions, I've been more adventurous, especially with $3 Klezmer, West African, and Latin records looking like they're begging to be given a chance on my turntable. Cugat's album covers typically feature him (or a cartoon version thereof) ogling/bumbling in front of a woman who is easily 63% cleavage. How could yours truly resist?

Yeah, it's poppy and mainstream, but that's not always a barrier to musical satisfaction (just watch out for droolers like Coldplay or the Fray). Sometimes we as human beings need lounge music to bob our heads to while we cook. It's not like it makes sense to marinate a chicken to the freakout strains of Big Black, yanno. Besides, it's not like he was completely unimportant. This Spaniard/Cuban emigre helped popularize a great number of Latin music styles in America, including the tango, the mambo, the rhumba, and the cha-cha. Not bad for the 30's and 40's, when stodgy white America wanted its music as bland as its hamburger helper. And hey, anyone who helps launch the careers of Tito Puente, Rita Hayworth, and Desi Arnez has gotta be doin' something right, y'dig? His only real misstep was marrying Charo, but back in the day, I probably woulda tapped that, too.

For people who wonder why Hispanics get to have their own Grammys.

Benabe -

Bim Bam Bum -

Cocktails for Two -

Mambo Number 5 -

Rumba Rumbero -

Monday, February 26, 2007

"Freedom got an AK" - Da Lench Mob

News item the first: Sorry it's been a few days since I blogged. Andrea was here, and I was too busy doing rad things like seeing the Hall Monitors and drinking at the Brickskeller with her to write about music you need to be listening to. Get over it.

News item the second: My buddy Chris wrote about Pan's Labyrinth on his killer blog, Film Blender. It was one of my favorite movies in a long time, and it was way better seeing it with someone who is going to write her masters' thesis on fairy tales and their application in contemporary stories. Anyway, check Chris out here:

News item the third: The new Ted Leo album, Living With the Living, is insanely good. I'll post about it when I feel like it's truly ingrained in my mind, but I will say "Who Do You Love?" will be rockin' blocks soon, and as for "The Lost Brigade?" Imagine your favorite Jam song, multiply it by the best sex you've ever had, square it, and it'll be half as cool as "The Lost Brigade."

Anyway, I decided after a break, the best way to follow up indie folk-rock and 30's jazz was to do some early 90's gangsta rap agitprop. (Cristina is STOKED.) Finding all my old Bill Hicks CDs reignited my interested in the LA riots, and Da Lench Mob is the kind of group that has the immediacy and we-are-there realism that CNN only dreams about.

Proteges of Ice Cube back when that truly mattered (pre-Are We There Yet?), Da Lench Mob were there prototypical angry black men who're mad as hell and ain't gonna take it anymore. Their debut album's title, Guerrillas in tha Mist, should be evidence enough of their Molotov cocktail outlook. It's a killer record, full of the rape-whistle urgency of the best Bomb Squad albums and pissed off rhymes of everyone who ever got busted lifting a loaf of bread.

Guerrillas in tha Mist might not be a completely forgotten classic, but it's certainly neglected. It's up there with Be, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury, You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having, Food and Liquor, Amerikkka's Most Wanted, and Lyte as a Rock as one of my favorite rap albums. Dig in, Chester.

Freedom Got an AK -

Lost in tha System -

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Django Reinhardt - or - maybe all Gypsies aren't all bad

In an effort to harass my friend Andrea, I've adopted as my motto "the only good Gypsy is a dead Gypsy." (She has a drop of Gypsy blood, but she looks plenty swarthy.) Anyway, I've decided the only good Gypsies are her, Eugene Hutz, and Django Reinhardt, the 30's jazz guitarist.

My clever friend Nick Feratu of AZ's own The Limit Club ( - check 'em out, they're rad, especially the song they named after this here ol' blog) worships Reinhardt as the greatest guitarist who ever lived. While I have my own favorites (East Bay Ray and Steve Albini pop to mind), Nick's not terribly far off. Reinhardt was that rare innovator, the kind of guy that didn't let technical skill take the place of soul or belly fire.

What's really astounding is that he managed to play some of the most difficult guitar music ever with an injured left hand; a fire left his left side badly damaged, including the hand he needed to form notes and chords. With two functional fingers, he still managed to create some of the most jaw-dropping music of any genre. What's even more impressive was that he was able to create such music under such duress. See, he was in Paris during the occupation of WWII, and jazz was banned under Hitler's rule. It was only with the help of Luftwaffe officer Dietrich Schulz-Kohn (aka "Doktor Jazz") that he escaped the death camp fate that awaited most people of Gypsy stock.

After the war, he re-teamed with longtime violinist/sidekick Stephane Grappelli (who'd-a thunk some stuffed shirt music conservatory type could fuckin' SWING?) before retiring in 1951, dying of a brain hemorrhage two years later. In a relatively short time, Reinhardt made some of the most everlasting music to come from any genre of any time. Check it, holmes.

Minor Swing -

I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight -

After You've Gone -

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Let the drone drone on" - Hutch and Kathy

A quick treat for you Thermals fans out there. (And if you're not one, what'n'th'hell are you reading this site for?) Anyway, before they started one of the best garage bands ever, Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster were in a number of bands together, including haelah and Urban Legends. After the latter band stopped touring, they did a pretty good folksy indie record together under the moniker Hutch and Kathy while Foster continued moonlighting in the unbelievably fun All Girl Summer Fun Band (hmmm, I smell a post for tomorrow). Anyway, it's all acoustic guitar, harmonica, brush drumming, and off-kilter harmonies that remind me more than a little of John Doe and Exene Cervenka, but in a Gin-Blossoms-in-Chapel-Hill kinda way. Dig?

Anyway, check it out. It's nothing mind blowing, but they certainly have a lot of mixtape worthy songs.

In Brilliance -

An Infinite Loop -

Sunday, February 18, 2007

"If I could take back all the time the judge gave" - Papoose

So I'm probably the last person on the planet to be hyping Papoose, but this dude slays so hard I couldn't resist. Why? Cause it's so fucking rare to hear a gangsta rapper that's worth getting hyped for. He can actually rap instead of chant over a ringtone ("it's goin' down, it's goin' down, it's goin' down, it's...zzzzzzzzz"). Shit, even his mixtapes kill, and how many rappers can you name that bring their A-game to mixtapes? Shit II, how many rappers can you name that draw more of your attention than the track?

It's no wonder he was the subject of a major label bidding war, with Jive winning out for a jaw-dropping $1.5 million. In fact, the result of that union, The Nacirema Dream, is fuckin' great (well, at least the leaked advanced version; as Papoose himself has said, "it ain't final 'til it's vinyl.")

I'm tossing y'all "Respect My Hustle," which is more than likely going to become a club hit within the next few months. And hey, just 'cause I'm a nice guy, two songs from last year's A Threat and a Promise. What can I say? I just love y'all. (Don't hold me to that.)

Respect My Hustle -

Superfly -

Flashback -

Friday, February 16, 2007

"The revolution is just a t-shirt away" - Billy Bragg

I've become hooked on the insanely good British sitcom Spaced, featuring a pre-Shaun of the Dead Simon Pegg as a stoned, would-be comic artist who lives with an equally-stoned would-be writer under the pretense that they are a professional couple. It's screamingly funny, and it's holding me over 'til Hot Fuzz comes out.

That said, since it IS a British show about young people, the soundtrack features annoying house music making clicks and beeps and skronks over every quiet part. I found myself wishing they'd used some vintage Billy Bragg tracks.

You know when it's okay to admit you rule? When Johnny fuckin' Marr asks to play on your record. Bragg got to that point of radness pretty quickly, too, going from busking to having the greatest British guitar player ever (yeah, I said it) begging for a guest spot in under two years. Not bad for a dude with an electric guitar and no backing band.

After he decided school sucked, he instead spent his days playing music, clocking time with the punk band Riff Raff. The band didn't go anywhere, and like all disillusioned punk rockers, he joined the Army (though he bought his way out of it pretty damn quickly). He began gigging around shithole London clubs, often as a last-minute replacement act , 'cause a lone dude can be mobilized for a last minute show easier than a full band.

in 1984, he put out the Life's a Riot With Spy Vs. Spy mini-LP, and it perfectly crystallized his sound. (Imagine if Woody Guthrie's favorite band was the Clash, to use a well-worn cliche.) It also showcased his split songwriting personality, turning out heartfelt songs of love and loss alongside strident agitprop. To be honest, kids, I've always preferred his songs of the heart more than his songs of the picket line. I guess political songs don't stay as evergreen as the eternal human struggle with love and affection. Like, the Dead Kennedys are one of the single greatest bands ever to play rock music, but "Riot" won't ever worm and wiggle its way into my heart like, for example, Jawbreaker's "Jet Black."

Anyway, after bringing John Peel takeout live on BBC Radio 1, Peel played a track, and Bragg started to get a bit of notice. That same year, he released Brewing Up, which was more of the same, but better.

Signing to Elektra for his third (and his best) record, Talking With the Taxman About Poetry, Bragg began expanding his sound a bit, adding the occasional additional instrument or subtle backing vocal. It was 1988's Workers Playtime where things started to go a bit downhill. Though he was still writing killer tunes, he now had a full backing band, and some of what made him unique and interesting started to dissipate. He also had a kid, which, as we all know, slays rock musicians and stand-up comedians.

Still, the worst Billy Bragg album is better than, say, the best grime album, and the two Mermaid Avenue records were pretty good, even if the Wilco halves of both discs tended to put me to sleep.

To Have and Have Not -

Island of No Return -

St. Swithen's Day -

Greetings to the New Brunette -

The Marriage -

Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards -

Accident Waiting to Happen (LP version) -

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"I'm open for the first time" - Matthew Good Band

At one point in my life, I was more or less in love with a girl who had stop-sign red hair and a demonic smile that I had dubbed Suzie Q. She was Canadian to the bone(r), and I still wonder sometimes why I didn't run off and join the circus with her. One of the things we connected over was our absolute rabid fandom of Matthew Good. Other than Suzie, I've yet to meet a single human being who was a pre-existing fan of Matt Good and his awesome work.

For those of you who weren't (un)lucky enough to have Much Music during the brief period it was broadcast in the United States, MGB was a Canadian alt-rock band fronted by the contentious, cranky Matthew Good (duh), a man who made a living out of catchy radio anthems and being a loudmouth who wasn't afraid to call his peers on their shit.

Starting off as a solo acoustic folk act that evolved into modern-rock radio jams via the best-selling Canadian indie album of all time, Last of the Ghetto Astronauts, the group became more and more popular with each subsequent release. Underdogs was fuckin' killer, but Beautiful Midnight still stands as one of the single best alt-rock albums of all time, up there with In Utero and Scream, Dracula, Scream! Shit, it even won them a few Juno awards, but Matt Good didn't even show up; guitarist Dave Genn says he only attended on account of the open bar. If that's not rock'n'roll, I don't know what the fuck is.

2001's The Audio of Being saw the band head into a spacier direction, and while it was still a cool record, it wasn't the era-defining slab a lot of people expected it to be. Of course, when you tell someone as contrary as Matt Good to "write hit songs," of course he's gonna write some airy jams. The band broke up not too long afterwards, and Good went on to put out two rad solo records (with a new one coming out this year, supposedly). I can't wait. Avalanche is one of my favorite prog records ever, and White Light Rock 'n' Roll Revue was just a great, straight-ahead rock album. I'll probably blog abotu Matt Good's solo career later. For now, I hope you enjoy these MGB jams. If they'd made it to American radio, maybe things wouldn't have been as bleak as Staind.

Load Me Up -

Everything is Automatic -

Generation X-Wing -

Look Happy; It's the End of the World -

Truffle Pigs -

Going All the Way -

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy VD, assholes

This is my first Valentine's in a long time where I haven't had a little sweetheart to do something with. Instead, I've spent today making out with a bottle of cheap wine and listening to Hungarian fiddle music. (Thank god the office was closed today; I could get used to this four-day workweek thing.)

So since I have no pretty little gal to hunker down and watch Harold and Maude and drink by the fireplace with, I decided to do something special for you, my loyal reader(s). I made a full-on Valentine's Day mix, already sequenced and sized to fit on a single compact disc. So, burn it and play it when you burn your ex's clothes. Some of them might not make sense, but it covers most of the girls I've loved or at least really liked, not to mention all the crap re: my love life past and present that's been bouncing off the walls of my skull as of late.

You know, it's kinda funny. Everyone who knows me knows me as full of bluster, a liquored-up loudmouth who isn't afraid to insult people I don't like. (Ian recalls the time I shut down some vainglorious PETA yuppie who was fishing for compliments on her rich-white-city-girl outfit.) The truth is half the time I'm so cripplingly shy that strangers assume I have a speech impediment, on the rare instance when I get the courage to chat someone up.

Honestly, though? I think it's helped me. There was a time in my life where I felt like I had to be with someone to be happy. While not all the way there, more and more I'm accepting of my singledom and not actively looking. Which, of course, means I'll meet someone relatively soon. Seems it's like the way this shit always works.

Anyway, if you're in love, good for you. If not, well, let's get drunk together.

01. The Murder City Devils - Somebody Else's Baby:

02. The Weakerthans - Watermark:

03. Richard Hell - Love Comes in Spurts:

04. Matthew Good Band - Rico:

05. Mountain Goats - Woke Up New:

06. Jesus and Mary Chain - Sometimes/Always:

07. Billy Bragg - This Saturday Boy:

08. Sonny Rollins - You Don't Know What Love Is:

09. Jolie Holland - Adieu, False Heart:

10. Hank Williams - Nobody's Lonesome For Me:

11. The Futureheads - Skip to the End:

12. The Descendents - Cheer:

13. The Ergs! - Pray For Rain:

14. Jawbreaker - Ashtray Monument:

15. The Lawrence Arms - The Raw and Searing Flesh:

16. Phil Collins - Don't Want to Know:

17. The Zombies - Whenever You're Ready:

18. The Pogues - The Broad Majestic Shannon:

19. Johnny Cash - Remember Me:

20. The Hold Steady - First Night:

21. Sleater-Kinney - Heart Attack:

22. Lucero - Ain't So Lonely:

23. The Silver Jews - Honk if You're Lonely:

24. Against Me! - Cavalier Eternel:

25. The Replacements - If Only You Were Lonely:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"What is it that scares you?" - Fake Problems

I've been meaning to blog about these dudes for a while, but I just never got around to it until now. Well, shit with a new record coming out this year on indier-than-thou Sabot Productions (who put out vinyl for None More Black, the Hold Steady, and Lucero, so I can't knock 'em too much...), it seemed like the perfect time. Plus, work let out early on account of the weather, so I've been drinking malt liquor for the last three hours, and I'm half-cocked and mouthy. So....punk rock, baby! (I'm gonna read this tomorrow and slap my forehead, probably.)

I suppose I should get the Against Me! comparisons out of the way. Blah blah blah started off in florida blah blah blah originally a solo act that accumulated members blah blah blah playing a hybrid of punk and traditional American music blah blah blah kids with beards really dig 'em. Got it? Good.

Fake Problems plays this kind of twangy punk rock that could have only come from Florida (these days) and should appeal to people who have Radon and Marty Robbins touching on their record shelf. As my hetero soulmate Aaron and I have often discussed, punk, blues, folk, and country music are all coming from the same place, ultimately. If you hear a huge difference between Johnny's Ramone's guitar and Howlin' Wolf's voice, it means you ain't payin' attention. Morrissey was essentially channeling Hank Williams through the spectrum of girl groups, and Oi! music is Leadbelly with football chants and too much cheap beer.

Anyway, Fake Problems' last release, Spurs and Spokes/Bull > Matador is a killer barnstorm of country twang and punk tempos, and frankly the best cowpunk release I've heard since Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon released Prarie Home Invasion. They've got a new record out this year called How Far Our Bodies Go, and early word is that it's gonna be rad, if the song "Real Problems in SRQ" is any indication. (PS - if you wanna know the story behind the song, check this: Besides, they're recording it with Rob McGregor, who has a pretty good track record.

Alright, time to heat up some leftovers and watch Arrested Development. Ahh, the life of the swingin' single.

Untitled (acoustic) -

Motion of the Ocean -

Degree'd or Denounced -

Real Problems in SRQ -

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Someone's gonna die tonight" - or - R.I.P. Nidge Blitz

I was gonna post today about Catch 22, but this news item changed my mind:

While details are scant, the overwhelming rumor is that Nidge was completely trashed when he tried to cross I-35, so I feel slightly better that he probably didn't feel much before he went to that great mosh pit in the sky.

I loved Blitz, especially in high school. They always seemed so genuine and thuggish, compared to their disaffected art-school peers in the first-wave UK punk scene. I always felt like the Sex Pistols were theatrical, but Blitz and Sham 69 would kick your ass in an alley behind a pub if you mouthed off.

When Skinhead John and I used to hang out, we would listen to Blitz a lot. Even though it was like 30 years old, I was still impressed by its buzzsaw guitar attack and drunken sing-a-long lyrics. Street punk bands STILL sound like Blitz, and you just know the dudes in Discharge heard them and thought "...killer!"

One of my happiest moments as a record collector was when I found a copy of their debut release, a four-song 7" called All Out Attack, which had untold influence on the soon-to-explode DIY punk scene. From the Xerox graphics to the "we folded this ourselves" bent crease to the lack of pricey stickers indicating which side was which, I've seen a jillion punk 7" releases that took their aesthetic and musical clues from this small piece of vinyl.

In honor of Nidge, I'm posting the entirety of All Out Attack, plus the a-side of their follow-up single, "Never Surrender." If you get it, you're that much closer to understanding my primal urges.

Someone's Gonna Die -

Attack -

Fight to Live -

45 Revolutions Per Minute -

Never Surrender -

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"I'll never get to Heaven if I'm singin' this song" - Streetlight Manifesto

Thomas Kalnoky is a frustrating figure, from the perspective of a music fan. He was at the helm of the single greatest record of the fourth-wave ska revival, Catch 22's Keasby Nights (which I'll probably blog about tomorrow). He then quit for school reasons, and the band slid into mediocrity (Alone in a Crowd) and then awful (Dinosaur Sounds).

Kalnoky (along with half of his bandmates in Catch 22 and most of the line-up of One Cool Guy) reappeared in 2003 with the band Streetlight Manifesto. They dropped the stunning Everything Goes Numb, which had me floored from the first listen on, which is odd for me. Normally, the records I like the most are the ones I hate on the first go-round. You shoulda heard me the first time I heard London Calling - I was all of 15 years and full of I-know-what-the-fuck-punk-is bluster. Just goes to show that at 15 you know everything, but at 23, you don't know anything.

Anyway, Streetlight Manifesto's debut album was amazing, full of tenor sax leads and a light-speed drummer, all capped off by Kalnoky's hardcore speed-rap and commanding vocal presence. Unlike 'most all of their contemporaries in the ska scene, they give their songs room to breathe, adding acoustic flourishes, tempo shifts, and instrumental showcases (and tugs-of-war). While "That'll Be the Day" could be the perfect score of a car chase, songs like "Point/Counterpoint" could easily be part of your next relaxed hangout witcher best friends.

So why is Kalnoky frustrating? Because Streetlight Manifesto decided to follow-up their original, thrilling debut with...a cover album of Keasby Nights. Why? They claim they had problems with the drums sounds. Zzzzzz....lame! So their version of Keasby Nights comes out, and they tour it for a while, and then...nothing. They keep touring based on the strength of Everything Goes Numb, and they haven't really addressed whether or not they're going to make a new record.

Hey Thomas, I love both song sets, but there's only so much you can tour on the same 25 songs (unless your band is the Rev. Horton Heat). Let's have another one, okay? Other than the new Dillinger Four, I can't think of one I'm waiting for more.

That'll Be the Day -

Point/Counterpoint -

Here's To Life -

Thursday, February 08, 2007

"Pilled to the gills, prowlin' through bars" - The World/Inferno Friendship Society

Ok, so the phrase "cabaret punk" makes me think of Rocky Horror, which makes me think of ugly weirdos transmitting the same strain of anal scabs amongst each other. I don't like thinking about this, so everyone is now banned upon pain of noogies to from utilizing this phrase, be it verbal or written. Besides, I think people only lump the World/Inferno Friendship society in with punk because most of their songs are uptempo and they sing about anarchy (plus, singer Jack Terricloth used to be in Sticks and Stones with punk legend Johnny X, so yanno, cred out the ying-yang).

Basically, the only non-fruity way I can of to describe this band is by saying "Dexy's Midnight Runners meets Ted Leo." It's real brassy without necessarily being ska, which I've missed since Rocket From the Crypt broke up and Streetlight Manifesto decided they would tour on the same small set of original songs FOREVER like they were freaking Agent Orange or something.

While I'm not as crazy obsessed with them like some of their freakier fans, I do think they're plenty rad and am looking forward to seeing them tomorrow at the Black Cat when they open for Lifetime. I'm going to get drunk and holler at Franz Nikolay a lot because that dude slays it like no one else. Seriously, if you have the pianist from the Hold Steady in your band, your band is automatically awesome. I don't care if it's experiemental noise/dub.

PS - And yes, I am stoked about seeing Lifetime, even if they sound kinda like Good Charlotte now. Shit, so long as I get to see Dr. Dan Yemin play live and they play "Hey Catrine," "Knives, Bats, New Tats," "Somewhere in the Swamps of Jersey," and "Young, Loud, and Scotty," I'll be happy.

Secret Service Freedom Fighting USA -

Zen and the Art of Breaking Everything -

Brother of the Mayor of Bridegwater -

Hothouse Flowers -

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rjd2 - or - more beats than Ike Turner

News item the first: My good friend Chris FINALLY got a new blog. If you're into movies, it's worth checking out. This is one of the few people in the world who might be able to outdrink me at a keggar, so pay your respects, kids. http://film-blender.blogsp

News item the second: Getting The Complete Calvin and Hobbes in the mail might be the highlight of my week, and keep in mind I have tickets to see Lifetime and World/Inferno Friendship Society this weekend.

Dunno why I've been listening to so much dancey music lately. Giorgio Moroder, New Order, CSS, Brazillian Girls, usual, I could go the fuck on, but I won't. Work's been stressing me out, so I imagine listening to a bunch of punk songs going "rah rah rah work sucks I hate my boss fuck paying rent rah rah rah" would be a depressing exercise. Other than the Grabass Charlestons and This is My Fist, it's been almost straight dance music for me.

Rjd2 is one of the best DJs working today. (Not that there's a lot of competition when you consider how many DJs just run a repetitive sequencer track over the hook to some pop song and vocoder up the chorus. Not to take away from Rj's obvious skills, though.) I guess when you live in Columbus, OH, there's not a lot to do but drink, fuck, read, and make music.

I know what you're thinking. "Oh boy, ANOTHER dorky-lookin' honky signed to Definitive Jux. Yeah, THAT's new." Well, shut your snide mouth, you insolent hipster. Besides, he's not on Def Jux anymore; he signed to XL Records and has been promising to go "more pop," whatever that means. His songs are pretty catchy as is.

EDIT - One of the people I love most in the world just suffered an awful loss, so I'm going to cut this short. Any question you have, I'm sure you can Google. This is way the fuck more important.

The Horror -

Smoke and Mirrors -

1976 -

Good Times Roll, Pt. 2 -

Junior (instrumental, from his collab with Aceyalone) -

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Giorgio Moroder, the man with the 'stache of gold

Don't the Italian mustache fool you - Giorgio Moroder was a visionary. Yeah, he looks like some coke-fueled dipshit that hassles 14 year old girls outside of ice-skating rinks, but hey, it was the 70's. It was almost expected of you.

I'm surprised I'd only heard of him recently, as apparently the dude has done a TON of soundtracks, including Scarface and The Neverending Story. He also collaborated with Donna Summer and Berlin on some of their biggest hits. You might also recognize him from the huge part he played in the songs from the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City game.

On his own, he released some of the most groundbreaking electronic albums this side of Kraftwerk. Where Kraftwerk were cold, distant, and basically the inspiration for every snide electronica fan that ever existed, Moroder's music was warm and dancey. It's good music to take drugs to, and who the hell can argue with that?

From Here to Eternity -

Faster Than the Speed of Love -

Chase -

Monday, February 05, 2007

Site news

As per the requests of Janice Dickinson and anonymous reader, I've reworked the audio links for the Radon and Stan Getz/Oscar Peterson posts, so scope those out in the archives. For the next week or so, I'm willing to go back and rework some of the now unfunctioning links for 'most any post, so paw through the old posts and make a request while I'm feeling generous.

How is the new file hosting site working for everyone? Anyone having any problems?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

"What is gonna happen to the young generation?" - Desmond Dekker

News item the first: Last night was fucking great. I had this killer Russian beer called Baltika #9 at the Brickskeller and Chris and I got lost on 7th. We also met a cross-dressing Ann Coulter impersonator named Cowboy Bill. Check Bill out here - Dude is awesome.

News item the second: While I'm not a huge football fan, I like the Colts being in the post-season solely because it creates more opportunities for Peyton Manning to suffer a career-ending injury/death.

When I tell people I'm into ska, they say "like No Doubt or [if they're VH1-addled] Letters to Cleo?" and I'm forced to visit some form of bodily harm upon them while yelling, "do you even KNOW who the Specials are, jackass?!?"

My violent tendencies aside, I do like a lot of the revival bands, like Operation Ivy, Slapstick, Selecter, and *sigh,* yes, the Voodoo Glowskulls. But what really gets me hard is the old school ska from the late 50's to mid 60's Jamaica. There's something raw and vital about the music, and Victory Records-esque artist cheating, while reprehensible, also led to a large number of artists and records being produced, which gives us a large overview of the scene from the distance of history.

The self-described King of Ska (and he fuckin' was, too) was Desmond Dekker, Jamaica's first international singing star, thanks to the breakout smash of his song "Israelites." A former tailor and welder before being plucked from obscurity by producer/impresario Leslie Kong in 1962, Dekker had a smooth croon that translated well into slow-burners like "Fu Manchu" or party starters like "Get Up, Edina!" He also started moving away from songs with simple, positive imagery to songs about the struggles of his people and the violence of Jamaica's slums, which made him almost an icon to the rude boys.

When Kong died in 1971, Dekker was kind of adrift until the rise of the punk-influenced Two-Tone movement in England at the end of the decade, when the crop of bands who claimed him as an influence helped turn him into a Stiff Records recording artist and a touring powerhouse.

It didn't last forever, and in 1984 he declared bankruptcy, essentially halting his career, aside from the occasional festival performance. Save for a stray live album and a collection of covers recorded with the Specials, he was largely silent until his heart attack in May of last year, dying at the age of 64.

I hope these songs light enough of a fire under your ass so that you go buy the double disc Anthology, which is too crucial for words.

Get Up, Edina! -

Fu Manchu -

Young Generation -

Fat Man (with the Specials) -

Friday, February 02, 2007

"I walk these streets every night" - Whatever it Takes

One of the things Aaron and I bonded over was our love of Anti-Flag. Yeah yeah, I know what you're saying, and all I can say in response is "fuck you." Sometimes you just want to pump your fist and get pissed off about the government. Anyway, it's important for future bandmembers to understand exactly how awesome the song "That's Youth" is. Anyway, after Andy Flag quit the band, Chris #2 took over on bass. And he KILLED. Dude is one of my bass guitar heroes. Just listen to the intro from "Bring Out Your Dead" and get back to me.

ANYWAY, #2 had a side project for a while called Whatever it Takes, and they slayed. Since singing about your feelings was not part of the Anti-Flag agenda of songs about why George Dubya wasn't quite qualified for office, I guess he had to have an outlet for his more personal compositions.

Whatever it Takes played the same kind of sloppy punk I love, and they would have been on No Idea if they hadn't been so emo, I guess. What's this emotional punk I keep hearing about? Perhaps it will one day become a youth trend.

PS - ignore the fact that they took THE GAYEST PRESS PHOTOS EVER
Green Light, Yellow Light, Stop -

I need your help!

Hey kids. I need a bit of help here. As you may have noticed, my audio links no longer work. I need a free file hosting site, or else this site is no more. If you know a reliable, non-pain-in-the-ass file hosting site, please please please tell me. I love writing here, but I feel like it would be pointless without the free mp3 samples. Music means more to me than god and country, and only slightly less than family and friends, so you know it means the fucking world to me. I love sharing it with people. The person who helps me out gets a total TKAAD shoutout.

Also, apparently Dave from Radon reads this thing, which made me blush more than a virgin perusing a porn site. Dave, if you read this, please know that I love your band and would basically fist myself to hang out with you guys. Make it happen, dude!

Hopefully be hitting y'all back soon with more killer tuns and pithy, drunk commentary!