Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ok, I think it's about time for a reunion - any takers?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Here is my belated post. I am happy to announce I've had my mini (aka Goldie Sawng) for 1.5 years with no problem. 4 mgs of pure don't-talk-to-me-on-the-bus Power.

Hard to Love a Man –Magnolia Electric Company
Cool. I like this song—I've been putting it on all my play lists. It sounds kind of like the Will Oldham stuff. Got some violin, then the nice lady starts in with the harmony. Very much kind of sad bastard music. My favorite song on the CD.

Starshine –Gorillaz
I just started listening to this band—they are cartoons, which is a nice quality. Anyway very groovy. This one has kind of creepy voice and she keeps saying Starshine over a slowed down, slick beat. Little Reggae-ish. Seems like a cool song to have on in the back ground while you're having a party. Not my favorite by them, but I like it. I like this band enough to consider cheating on this 5 song in a row thing and putting in a song I like more by them, but I resist.

He Woke Me Up Again – Sufjan Stevens
Oh snap. I love these songs on Seven Swans, so nice and clean. Not so orchestrated. Plus those angelic backup singers. I was asleep and he woke me up again—very nice. I think people are getting tired of him and can see why. Still I think Seven Swans is outside of reproach. These songs are pretty stripped down and refreshing.

Clown Towne – Xui Xui
Now I'm on a roll. Maybe my favorite Xui Xui song and high up there on my list of favorite songs in general. This song is so weird and simultaneously inviting and unnerving. Nice melody/jarring percussion. Dramatic voice/pretty sentimental lyrics “Clowne Towne, single angle. Clown Town, no exit” & among my favorites lyrics anywhere, during a rather chaotic crescendo, “Your true self has become weak and alone and annoying. A true ridiculous dumb ass.” I love it because it's not full of self-loathing, but a more quotidian “why-the-hell-did-i-do-that” kind slap in the forehead. It utterly contrasts the wonderful percussive quality.

Method Man (Skunk Mix) –Wu-Tang Clan
Shit yeah. This song is nice—Method is pretty smooth “Get on down with your bad self” I love some Wu-Tang. Nice to work out to. “A tisket a tasket” That is a good way to end right? Whitey McPoetry listening to the Wu at the Y. M=E=T=H=O=D MAN

Friday, March 17, 2006

Oh Woe is Technology!

Of course you know what happened... I wrote about half my shuffle notes and a few days later my computer crashed & I had to reformat the bum. I'm still recovering! But I've enjoyed the notes, guys. I think my songs were: 1. A Depeche Mode song of their new album, which isn't all that; 2. "Les Succettes," an awsome Serge track from Comic Strips. Good & dirty. 3. Morrissey "Suedehead" -- ah, takes me back. 4. something by Califone. 5. A Joy Division track. Sweet glum!

... Matt, I'm on my third frickn' iPod. I think I'm a magnet for technology bad luck. At least I purchased Apple's extra warranty, so they've replaced the piece of dung for free both times it's gone kurplunk...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A miracle! So I am all upset over my lifeless ipod, but denail prevents me from giving up. I was reading through the different threads about unruly ipods on the apple site and one sage related a tale where he had whacked the thing hard (but not too hard) on its right side and it started working. So, with two parts desperation, one-part frustration I gave it a good lick against my desk, pushed the play button, and it whirled back to life. It was a little groggy, but it was sung Belle and Sebastian to me all the way to school today.

By the way, if you want to listen to last night's Belle and Sebastian show in DC, go here.

So here’s me ipod mashup. I hopeth for no crapeth which there is mucheth on me ipod.

#1 Car, Built to Spill, The Normal Years: Well this is a good way to start. I am pleased that this is the starting song. This is an older song of their’s, from the album with the beer can on the front. Good album, but with a much rougher and maybe more juvenille sound than the later stuff.

But this song is killer. All killer, no filler. “I wanna see movies of my dreams.”

And how about that Doug Martsch looking like our very own Mike “Tagashi Eater of Souls” Anichini? Anyone hear from Mike in Ioway?

#2 The Big Ship, Brian Eno, Another Green World: NATE! Did you get into my ipod and lay down some Eno tracks? This is a really pretty lil song though. Slowly modulating electronics. Songs like this with the slowly builidng keyboards and light percussion always make me think they are sountracks to big life moments. Like they should be playing behind me while I am on a desert road trip or looking out of a window in a jet to Brazil. Of course the iPod is soundtracking all of our lives as we walk around and get on bikes and trains.

#3 Blackjack, Tortoise, Standards: Well aren’t I instrumental these days? This is from my favorite Tortoise album. I saw Tortoise this summer at the Intonation festival in Chicago. It was brillant. The day had been dusty, around 90 some degrees, and I had a full concert the next day too. So at around 9 Tortoise, the last act, gets on. With the skyline from the perspective of the West Side (the best view), I sat my dirty, dusty, self down on the trampled grass with Jason, had a beer, a smoke or two, and watched as the rock concert crowd thinned out to people all sitting down to watch Tortoise and their visual aids. Skyline, relaxation, excellent band. One of my best show experiences ever.

#4 Spicer, Sticks and Stones, Sticks and Stones: This is a Chicago experimental jazz band that has one of the Isotope 217 guys in it. This particular piece is mello, but not crazy and atonal as the rest of the album. Just some drum skittering and a rising bass line in the background. Chicago jazz is amazing, live, and well. What I hate is that even the jazz stations from Chicago don’t play these guys. Hey lets have some more Ramsey Lewis! It gets depressing. Check out these guys, Chicago Underground, Sao Paulo Underground, Isotope 217, Mandarian Movie, Brokeback, these are all great avant garde Chicago bands or w/ Chicago ties.

One more to go, can have another good one?

#5 12XU, Minor Threat, Minor Threat: The Complete Discography: HAHAHAHA! I almost blew out me ol ears with this after the quiet Sticks and Stones. Only a minute long and what can I say? Ian MacKaye rocks. I don’t even know what 12XU means? But I do love that I can feel entirely like the 15 year old I never got to be when I listen to them.

And the 6 spot, for good measue is Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again) by Sly and the Family Stone. Hot DAMN!


Monday, March 06, 2006

Alas! Only a day after the shuffle game, my iPod has decided that to take its own life. Now, whenever i try to turn it on, I get this dead ipod graphic:

Personally, I think Apple should have gone with a more appropriate symbol:

Sigh. I am carrying around a portable CD player today, and let me tell you, I am not at all happy. I am in a state of too much grief to decide what to do next, but it looks like i will be a schmuck and get a new one.

“Christmas at the Zoo,” Flaming Lips
A merry, yuletide funeral. Too quickly gone to properly enjoy.

“Agnes Queen of Sorrow,” Bonnie “Prince” Billy
The screen door slams, but instead of Mary going away we have Agnes, singing through a scruffy, rug-faced man. He resembles me in all things, except he is rich and I am not, he is red-headed and I am not. The orange cello strains come through the door in procession with the sentimental steel guitar. The end satisfies like a crisp cup of coffee.

“Sari” Nellie Mackay.
The pendulum swings and we end up in a heavily ironic Rogers Park dream: polite pretenders spend time slinging jokes about how much they love the Oxygen network and springing platitudes about highs and lows, about rhymes and lives of crime. Sari, sari, sari. A mention of hari-kiri (pronounced “Harry Caray”) makes me think of the late, lecherous lush of Wrigley Field and old Comiskey fame. I guess I failed my test.

“I Threw it All Away” Bob Dylan (with Johnny Cash intro).
Next weekend I will be in Nashville, observing all the compulsory Lenten fasts (skipping the pork in the collard greens, climbing stairs on my knees) and pilgriming to Our Lady of the Opry-Lowlands. The crowds will cheer as I give them my Episcopal benediction.

“Sweet Little Girl” Stevie Wonder.
“Should we hold a formerly great artist responsible for his latter day sins; is it better to burn out or fade away.” The mean blues harp above the herky-jerk crowdedness of the Lakeview Lounge, when the middle-aged harmonica player would get up around 1:30 and hook up his mic and amp and join in on songs: some classic, some improvised. This is also why spoken word open mics suck: not because they’re bad necessarily, just because they’re a bad idea. Not all imitation is a bad idea, but most of it is. Fade out fade out fade out (with background singers making their first appearance).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ok, the iPod shuffle game. As Nate proposed. I have 6,589 songs currently living in my ipod. Let's see what comes alive!

1. A Tchaikovsky piano adagio played by Artur Rubenstein.
What can i say? I am a snob now. Although this track did come off some random Rubenstein anthology, so it is so stripped of its original context. So I am a faker too. Next track:

2. A Night In Tunisia: Miles Davis
Man, so far I look way cultured. This is a good one too: Got this crazy bass opening and really cool percussion. A definite toe-tapper. I think this is from the Blue Note period, which if I remember the story correctly, Miles had signed on for a several-album contract. Then Columbia offered him a bigger deal, and to fulfill his contract with Blue Note, he did a slew of albums in a row. Just cranked them out to get to the big money. Next:

3. Juanita. By the Flying Burrito Brothers.
Honestly, I don't think I have ever listened to this song before. I got it from my brother. It's country. And I just can't get into. Skip ahead:

4. Maybe After All by the Trembling Blue Stars.
Not my favorite song, but I like the album (Alive to Every Smile). They're British and upset about some girl. Good sappy relationshipy songs and a great full sound. Kind of like the Doves, I guess. Ok, now this song is just depressing. Let's see our finale:

5. Here's to You by Joan Baez (off the Life Aquatic Soundtrack).
Oh, this song is awesome. "Here's to you Nicola and Bart/Rest forever here in our hearts/The last and final moment is yours/That agony is your triumph" A song about Sacco and Vanzetti, so at least it makes me look political. This song does give me chills. And its not a bad soundtrack either.

That was fun. I can't beleive Belle and Sabastian didn't come up. What did others get:

Foornote: The 6th Song to come up was Kick Out the Jams by the MC5, which still makes me want to break things (starting with The Man).

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I know everyone is a bit scattered all over (mostly in the midwest) but I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays...I was planning on sending holiday cards but I'm a little distracted.

Chris, where did Racine, WI come from?