Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's Fat Tuesday

Let's go...Night Trippin'!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Always a smile for me

The sun shines in Portland for those who look...

The Poppy Family: Beyond the Clouds

The Meat Puppets: Look At the Rain

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Arch of the Aorta (All mp3 links have been removed)

Lack of love hurts. Songs about this subject seem more satisfying because they allow us to be self-indulgent. We can wallow, be obsessive and exaggerate - the amorphous white lie describing the Other as your mortal enemy makes it easier to believe you're right and beyond reproach. It's one of the best parts of breaking up. Or not being with someone.

(1) Silver Apples - A Pox On You: well you've got to have an ominous beginning for this sort of mix don't you?

(2) PiL - Memories: Johnny Lydon sounds like he's losing his mind. And all he can do is accuse you of being at fault. "This person's had enough of useless memories." Here here Johnny. I've also had enough praise for the Sex Pistols. Gawd they were awful weren't they Johnny? I'm not wrong about this.

(3) The Static Party - Don't Let Me Stop You: also sometimes referred to as 'The Static'. All you need to know is that this is a Glenn Branca band. The whisper on this song reminds of the beginning of the disco theme from the movie Van Nuys Blvd: "Gonna meet you on the boulevard, gonna kiss you on the boulevard, gonna hold you on the boulevard, gonna make you on the boulevard...on Van Nuys!"

(4) The Human League - Marianne: oh so electro-retro cool. Makes you forget that you thought Phil Oakey lost it in that collaboration with Giorgio Moroder for the Electric Dreams movie soundtrack doesn't it? Well that song rules too.

(5) Tuxedomoon - Desire: so maybe this song is more about consumerism - but it is Valentine's Day isn't it? And what else is this day about other than buying into the concept of love?

(6) Ministry - Revenge: yeah, it's Ministry. Yeah, Al Jourgensen loathes this. But you gotta love his fake British accent and the synths. See electro-retro cool. I spin this when I'm DJing anytime I can.

(7) Cristina - Quicksand Lovers: when I hear this song I think (for no reason in particular) that everybody at Ze Records in the 80s were doing coke and having unprotected sex.

(8) Armand Schaubroeck Steals - I Love Me More Than You: Armand Schaubroeck showed up on A&E's City Confidential! Anyway, this is almost a Stooges-like romp. Visit him in N.Y. at House of Guitars. Tell him I thought Ratfucker was a great album.

(9) Crime - Baby You're So Repulsive: man, S.F. is being represented today (see Tuxedomoon above and Flipper below). The title says it all.

(10) T.S.O.L. - Darker My Love: yeah, it's in the movie Suburbia but so what?

(11) Huggy Bear - Shaved Pussy Poetry: number 2 out of 3 riot grrl references today.

(12) The Mekons - Where Were You?: their anthemic hit. Makes you want to go to a pub, get drunk like it's your birthday, complain about your ex or crush and beat some ass. I'll be right by your side telling you that it's alright bro. We'll catch a cab home - don't forget your Abercrombie & Fitch hat bro...

(13) The Chameleons - Love Is: my feelings are rebounding off you!

(14) Adorable - Homeboy: in 1991/1992, I was like, man this new band Radiohead sounds like a bunch of wussies compared to Adorable! Radiohead is going nowhere - it's all about Adorable! I was right! I totally put this on a mixtape for a high school ex. But she only liked NOFX.

(15) The Afghan Whigs - Debonair: wow, another tune from high school (I think). Tell you the truth, I don't know much more about the Whigs than any non-fan. All I know is that this song rocks because when Greg Dulli sings this tune you can tell he means it. This song used to creep me out because I thought there were major undertones of sexual violence in this song. And Dulli always looked like the biggest date rapist in the world - that's why this song was so appropriate for him. Doesn't he look like an even more bloated Baldwin brother? Joaquin Phoenix in three years maybe? Look at him! Greg Dulli will fucking kill you.

(16) The Feelies - Loveless Love: sometime after high school I passed up their Crazy Rhythms record at a music swap in Berkeley for a Plastics record. I didn't have enough money. I should've stole it.

(17) Yo La Tengo - You Can Have It All: this song is very bittersweet for me. Someone very near and dear to me was playing this in their car in an attempt to express what they couldn't say. I was too dense to figure it out. I'm sorry. Basically this song makes me feel like a jerk.

(18) The Remains - You Got a Hard Time Comin': tell your ex/non-existent lover that it's on like Donkey Kong with this song!

(19) The Rolling Stones - Star Star: a.k.a. "Star Fucker". No one can do misogyny better than Mick. I saw Paul Westerberg drop this cover on an unsuspecting audience - it blew everyone away. By the way, a drunken Paul threw a tomato at me from the stage. We met later and made up. It was one of the most thrilling moments in my life.

(20) Ike & Tina Turner - The Game of Love: this song has always been one of my favorites. Tina's on fire and flying the flag of feminism. Let's not get into any Ike and Tina jokes.

(21) Bobby Bland - That's the Way Love Is: one of the smoothest men ever tellin' you how it is.

(22) Charlie Rich - Don't Tear Me Down: throw some talculm on the floor and strut to this stomper. A Northern Soul fave from a country artist? You better believe it. And if you've haven't heard his big hit "The Most Beautiful Girl In the World" you're missing out.

(23) Nikki Sudden - Heart of Hearts: the scarves are flying around for this one! For "all those Valentine's kisses that don't run true".

(24) The Comsat Angels - Baby: the CSA are best known for their hit song on the Real Genius soundtrack, but their first album is one you should pick up if you find it in a store (I know I sound dorky).

(25) Simply Saucer - Bullet Proof Nothing: ever asked to be abused? This song is the expression of your kinky fetish.

(26) Roky Erickson - You Don't Love Me Yet: a classic. Also adeptly covered by Bongwater. Ann Magnuson refused to sign my Bongwater 7" of their Erickson cover when I sought her out at a special screening of the Klaus Nomi documentary. So I told her "Kramer was always the talented one - you turd. See you in another crappy sitcom with Richard Lewis". Just kidding. I really liked Anything But Love - it also starred Jamie Lee Curtis. Anyway, the point is: Magnuson wouldn't sign my record. Then I saw Fiona Apple smoking a cigarette. Now I don't really care for her music but when I saw her in person my jaw dropped from how attractive she is...

(27) Soft Cell - Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: so much drama packed into one song! It's like a play but Marc Almond would rather describe it as Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. One of the greatest break up songs ever. I can't recommend this song enough. Would be a perfect bookend for the ubiquitous Human League hit "Don't You Want Me".

(28) Blonde Redhead (ft. David Sylvain) - Messenger: c'mon Sylvain doing the vocals for an already awesome song? Too much. The baritone is too smooth on this track! "Don't run - just walk and walk and walk..."

(29) Mia Doi Todd - Autumn: I've been really digging on this tune lately. Call me a sap. I don't care. These would be great closing credits. I can see it now: Grey's Anatomy the Movie. Everyone dies - the Asian woman whose face looks like its been paralyzed from a stroke, the ugly female lead, the homophobe, the actor I guess who's gay, Mr. Can't Buy Me Love, fucking everybody. Then this song comes on. I clap loudly.

(30) Red House Painters - New Jersey: what - you think this mix wouldn't include these guys? Man, this song is lethargic.

(31) Lee Hazlewood - I'm Glad I Never...: you ever shoot the one you love? Yeah, me neither - but I almost did. This song is the shortest one here - it's only 59 seconds long!

(32) The Byrds - Set You Free This Time: Gene Clark wants you to bounce. And while Roger McGuinn is busy being a total hippy turd, David Crosby is moving in so he can eat you. This song is a good bookend for the Band's "Unfaithful Servant". Why isn't it on this compilation? Beats me. But do you see how many other songs I put up? It's not a comprehensive mix dude.

(33) Dennis Wilson - Thoughts of You: my gawd this song always gets me. Watch the old Beach Boys biopic - it depicts a drunken Dennis Wilson jumping into the ocean and killing himself while some idiot looks on in Santa Monica.

(34) The Boys - You Can't Hurt a Memory: to hell with the Boys you say? To hell with you. Goes well with Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory". You can look down the list to see if it's here but I'm going tell you right now that it's not. Some other time.

(36) Flipper - (I Saw You) Shine: this is 8:30 minutes of sludge and near suicidal pain. A triumph of a song about desperation. "Face me now - face me now! Show me all your tears..."

(37) Don Covay - I Was Checkin' Out, She Was Checkin' In: when your significant other and you are both using the same motel to cheat on each other - you've got heartbreak in a small town. Dig the background vocalist - he's going off doing a wacked out call and response routine! My favorite barely audible line of his is "She was smilin' - she never smiles..." (at the fadeout). She just finished getting it on with her secret lover. Wow. Burned. This is kind of like R. Kelly's "The Closet" without the convoluted plot and the cornrows.

(38) Thin Lizzy - Still In Love With You: this is one of those tunes you try to save for last or close to last. It's a scorcher. I'm listening to it right now. The guitar on this song has got great tone. Oh my gawd, the guitar is awesome on this...

(39) The Cyrkle - Two Rooms: are you out there Wes Anderson? This is a song that you could put in any one of your movies. Bill Murray needs a new gig. Because a wooden Bill Murray is only good in your movies. Respect is due to J Dilla who creatively sampled the Cyrkle's "The Visitation". R.I.P.

(40) The Kinks - So Long: same goes for this one Wes. Let's hold off giving the Wilsons some roles. Everyone agrees that we need a break from them.

(41) Bikini Kill - Outta Me: this is another great breakup song!

(42) Daniel Johnston - Some Things Last a Long Time: I have a Laurie too Daniel. I'm not as crazy as you though. This is a sad sad but uplifting song. I wonder if I'm somebody's Laurie? Man, that would not be cool. Baby, I ain't worth it - you can find someone better. It's me...

*Bonus track:
Three Times Dope - Funky Dividends: back in the day - when this song was everywhere (in the Bay Area anytime on FM 97.7, 106.1 and 107.7) - I used to say "They call me [insert my name here] the overlord of fresh". And I am. I'm also the Acknickulous one (that's another 3TD reference). This song is from the long overlooked Original Stylin' album - Philly ain't strictly just about Schoolly D and Schoolly D ain't just the guy rapping the Aqua Teen Hunger Force theme song. 3TD's producer was Chuck Nice from Philly. On VH1's Best Week Ever is a comedian also named Chuck Nice who is a former radio DJ who had a show in Philly. Not the same guy - don't be confused. The beat here is a classic pairing of Delegation's "Oh Honey" vibes and the drums from Melvin Bliss' "Synthetic Substitution". Favorite line from "Funky Dividends": "[T]he new wave 80s has everything reversible".

I hope you're all crying over this. Or beating somebody up.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What day is tomorrow? (All mp3 links have been removed)

I feel compelled to contribute a collection of songs that on any other day would not be nauseating. Of course I will add my superfluous commentary. I'll try to upload (by tomorrow) a mix of bitter songs that best celebrate the imaginary holiday that is Valentine's Day.

The following songs are in the order I would want them to be heard...Of course, you can just pick and choose what you want and listen to them in any order. Clicking on a link will let you listen to the song and/or download it if it sounds good to you.

(1) Small Factory - "Valentine": this song was covered by Lois Maffeo a long time ago (if anyone still remembers her). I liked Small Factory. They're very much 90s indie rock.

(2) The Suburbs - "Love Is the Law": covered by the PeeChees (yeah I used to like them). I found this record in the very cluttered upstairs of Record Surplus in Los Angeles. Nothing says love like sax in an 80s song.

(3) Orange Juice - "I Can't Help Myself": get off the "Rip It Up" bandwagon and dig this nugget. Edwyn Collins is getting as soulful as he can here. You can't fault a song with sax and a line that goes "Just like the Four Tops - I can't help myself!" This song makes me feel, like, retarded in love.

(4)The Vibrations - "Love In Them There Hills": from my vinyl of the Mr. Cee curated "Lost Soul". Mr. Cee was Big Daddy Kane's producer (I think - I remember in "Ain't No Half Steppin'" Big Daddy Kane said "Mr. Cee step to me..."). Anyway, this was the Vibrations biggest hit. It's more funky than soulful. Bongos and horns - a winning combination.

(5) ESG - "You Make No Sense": ESG doing what they do best - repetitively playing a tune made for break beat junkies. I go back and forth with ESG. Sometimes I can't get enough of these ladies - other times, I think you hear one of their songs - you've heard them all. Except for "UFO" which just seems like an anomaly in their catalogue.

(6) Queen - "Need Your Loving Tonight": this song just rocks. I remember seeing Carrie Brownstein DJing a couple of years ago and she dropped this tune. I had to give her props. All the hipsters were lost since this was before the whole "cheesey rock is cool" revival.

(7) The Raspberries - "I Wanna Be With You": oh yeah. Eric Carmen at his best. The title says it all. The hair on the back of my neck stands up when this song comes on. Makes me want to crack open a bottle of Boone's Strawberry Hill and get down with you.

(8) Kicking Giant - "Fuck the Rules": and do it nasty. Just kidding. Anyway, this is a very personal tune for me. You know how some songs are always about the particular person you first heard it with? This is one of them. Talked to Tae a couple of years and he said he was moving back to N.Y. to do graphic design work. Hope it all worked out for him but I sure do miss Kicking Giant. Kicking Giant's one true album as 'Kicking Giant' on K Records is still in my list of top ten records of all time. [02/15: Replaced WMA file - now a MP3 file.]

(9) Gun Club - "She's Like Heroin to Me": you know you're really in love when this is the hyperbole you choose to express your undying devotion. This is a must for a wedding song.

(10) My Bloody Valentine - "Love Machine": sorry for the bad audio quality of this one. Couldn't really find any better. If this was rereleased this wouldn't be a problem. This MBV is definitely not the MBV that Sofia Coppola (the idiot who makes stupid derivative insipid movies) loves.

(11) Nu Forest (The Pastels & Jarvis Cocker) - "I Picked a Flower": have you ever found a rose in another man's garden? Well, Jarvis has. I remember when I first heard this collaboration I nearly fell out of my chair. Neither the Pastels nor Jarvis could go wrong in my book. It's techno funky and tongue in cheek.

(12) Japan - "Fall In Love With Me": David Sylvain's still using a glam rockish inflection in his baritone in this one. This is a great cruising song for me for some reason.

(13) Spacemen 3 - "I Love You": could I have picked a less obvious one? Sure, but Kember's songs have always been more interesting to me than Mr. Spiritualized's. Kember's stuff on the Recurring album was definitely more satisfying than Pierce's.

(14) Suicide - "Cheree (Remix)": always a great hypnotic love song. I put this one up only because I put "Keep Your Dreams" on every mix tape/CD I make for people.

(15) David Bowie - "What In the World": I've been really getting back into the "Low" album. The other song on this album that may have been appropriate for Valentines was "Be My Wife" - but that song sucks. Yet again, Bowie sings about a girl with grey eyes in this tune. I think her name is Trent Reznor. By the way, I only obsess over girls with green eyes like that crazy guy in Big Trouble In Little China.

(16) Klaus Nomi - "Just One Look": gawd damn, this song just makes me smile. Not as challenging like other Nomi tunes, this song is obviously a cover of the Doris Troy/Hollies hit.

(17) Jellyfish - "Baby's Coming Back": OK this was a big pre-grunge hit in high school. I went out and bought this tape and hid it in my collection from all my punk rawk friends. I listened to this album on the way to the school bus stop. And when I got on the bus, you know I was rocking Econochrist, Avail or something. Because that was the cool thing to do. I was a total douche.

(18) Beulah - "If We Could Land a Man On the Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart": this song is more about writing a pop tune rather than love for a significant other. But you gotta admit it's a great title. I slept on Beulah for a long time believing they were too syrupy for me. Y'know too kitschy - wearing their Beatles/Beach Boys influences on their sleeves (see also: Jellyfish). But see douche comment above.

(19) The Beach Boys - "I Can Hear Music": three reasons why this song rules (1) great Ronettes cover, (2) Brian Wilson production is spot on and (3) no lead vocal from Mike "I look like the biggest asshole in the world" Love.

(20) Nu People - "I'd Be Nowhere Without You": thank you DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist for spreading this tune around. Aside from being a break beat gold mine, it's a great tune when listened to in its entirety. [02/15: Replaced WMA file - now a MP3 file.]

(21) Electric Light Orchestra - "The Lights Go Down": this song always reminds of that song from the movie Streets of Fire - 'I can dream about you - I can dream about you if I can't have you tonight...' Jeff Lynne's vocals sound sort of like the guy who sang that song.

(22) Bob Dylan - "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (Glockenspiel Version)": this is the accidentally released single version (pre-Highway 61 Revisited) NOT the rerecorded alternate final version on the Biograph collection. Whomever this song is about, it ain't about that tool Joan Baez.

(23) The Gaylettes - "Silent River Runs Deep": I am of the firm opinion that people whom haven't had the chance to ever listen to the Gaylettes are depriving themselves of a uniquely soulful event. Seriously.

(24) Arthur Russell - "A Little Lost": soon this song will be 'rediscovered' by whoever the people are who put together the music for The OC or Grey's Anatomy. This is Arthur at his Kermit the Frog-like tenor best. No hip remixes - no unimaginative new disco beat added to it. We get to really hear Arthur's passion and unique cello playing. Stunning. I cried the first time I heard this song. Such longing...

(25) Kaleidoscope (UK) - "Dear Nellie Goodrich": psychedelic and baroque. Insert Zombies/Left Banke/David Axelrod producing the Electric Prunes/etc. reference here. It's such a soothing song.

(26) The Wailers - "It's You Alone": one of the Pacific Northwest's garage rock bands doing a BALLAD! Sure, the Wailers rock - and all of us native San Josers have got to give them props for their song "San Hozay" - but this is a great slow jam. It's got drama and a quivering vocal that seems like it's about to crack from all the white boy soul being belted out. [02/15: Replaced WMA file - now a MP3 file.]

(27) Comet Gain - "Turnpike": another one of my favorites from the 90s. "You've got those French film eyes" is some kind of cheese that I wish I wrote.

(28) Francoise Hardy - "This Little Heart": the English version of "Ce Petit Coeur". One of my mom's favorite songs as a teenager. Anything 'girl' (i.e., girl groups, yeh-yeh girls) I've ever liked in my life is a direct result of my mom's teenage musical obsession with girl vocalists of the 60s. Like I've mentioned many times before to anyone who would listen, I would sing Skeeter Davis' "I Can't Stay Mad At You" with her when I was a little kid. One of the best things I've ever had the opportunity to do in my life was to make her a mixtape/CD of all the girl musicians she used to listen to as a kid. [02/15: Replaced WMA file - now a MP3 file.]

(29) Eddie Floyd - "I'll Take Her": Stax is on fire! Whatever happened to Eddie after The Blues Brothers? [02/15: Replaced WMA file - now a MP3 file.]

(30) Alton Ellis - "Baby I Love You": the king of rocksteady! Enough said.

(31) Daniel Johnston - "Tell Me Now": crazy love - this is it right here. Run for your life Laurie. Daniel's songs are always perfect for a guitar and a campfire.

(32) The Saturns - "Somebody's In Love": I think this Sun Ra produced doo-wop number was covered by Yo La Tengo. It would make sense since they've got a knack for picking great covers.

(33) Lou Reed - "Wait": Lou does a song about the pleasures of abstinence - stop the presses! How unrock and roll is that? One of the very few live recordings I like.

(34) The Ramones - "Baby I Love You": another Ronettes cover in this selection. And it's even got that bushy haired killer Phil Spector producing too! This may be blasphemy but this version is even better than the original. My mom gives this cover a thumbs up!

(35) Cub - "Through My Hoop": yeah it's Cub - so what? Too twee? Cuddlecore? This another song with special significance for me. And the line in the song that sounds like "An uncertain something has begun..." was the inspiration for the name of my radio show long ago.

(36) The Velvet Underground - "I Found a Reason": just a beautiful song. Dedicated to M.K.

*Bonus track
Apache - "Gangsta Bitch": cause I'm from San Jose, I've always had a thing for the hairbears and vatas. But those ladies don't roll like the ones in N.Y. - y'know with "Carhartt and leather (motherfuck the weather)". "I wanna gangsta boogie with my gangsta bitch". True.

I hope you all make love to this.