December 23, 2008

The Pixies//Holiday Song

Guys, I love you. I really do. But I'm going on fucking vacation.

Holiday Song.mp3

Enjoy your holiday, cuz it always turns out that way. At least, according to Black Francis.

December 22, 2008

Lucinda Williams//Drunken Angel

Friday night got a little out of hand, so maybe this song is appropriate. I was a drunken angel, almost on the other side of the path tracks after an office-related Christmas party. Yeek!

I love Lucinda Williams. She is a drunken angel! The first time I saw her live was at this weird folk fest with some friends in South Jersey (where I consequently also ran into my aunt). Williams started her set super late and drank whiskey the whole way through. Her band was comprised of the awesomest old cowboy dudes. WHAT A BADASS.
Actually, Lucinda Williams is one of the only acts I’ll always go see live—she really knows how to deliver a quality show. She was also named "America's best songwriter" by TIME magazine in 2002.

This song comes from a remarkable album—probably one of the best of all time--Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. How sexy is that electric guitar tone? So, so sexy. The song, a tribute to Blaze Foley, is truly a musical and emotional gem.

I also have some very fond memories of playing this song with Mr. Beauchamp. We loved us some Lucinda!

Drunken Angel.mp3

Why’d you let go of your guitar? Why’d you ever let it go that far, drunken angel?

December 18, 2008

The Flaming Lips//Thank You, Jack White..., The Raconteurs//Salute Your Solution

To further get everyone into the “Holiday Spirit,” I want to remind you that we all have plenty to be thankful for this year with a double whammy OSS today.

One thing we should all be particularly thankful for is Detroit rock hero and perhaps purveyor of the grittiest vox in indie rock, Jack White. Take it from the seemingly happiest man in indie rock (and maybe alive), Wayne Coyne!

The first song is (unsurprisingly) about how Jack White once gave Wayne Coyne a light-up Jesus (how timely!) backstage while Flaming Lips were on tour with Beck (I WAS AT THIS SHOW AND WE WERE SITTING RIGHT NEAR MEG AND JACK, HILARIOUSLY). I like how this song is just a funny inside joke that The Flaming Lips actually decided to release as a B-Side. The song also perpetuates The White Stripes Brother and Sister Hoax—FUN!

I also like how vividly I remember the actual referenced show. I think it was at the Detroit Opera House. Oh, yes, The Michigan Daily tells me that it was. (good memory, amid all that college binge drinking, g). Flaming Lips had all those people dressed up in animal costumes on stage with them and it was during Beck’s big “sad phase.” This was the time that Michael Beauchamp “smoked” a cigarette because he thought it was a funny joke. I don’t think he actually lit it. Oh, it was hilarious. Tash, Dan, Als, Jill and Soma were there also, I believe. Actually, I know Jill was there because I think I went with her in the Honda and we had to berate the Honda to get it to start. “FUCK YOU, HONDA, YOU WORTHLESS AND TERRIBLE CAR! YOU’LL NEVER START! YOU’LL NEVER GET US TO DETROIT!” Was this also the night that The Mistake/Charles In Charge awkwardly demanded a ride, painted his face like Beck and acted terrible the whole time? Yes, I believe it was.

Thank You, Jack White (For The Fiber Optic Jesus That You Gave Me).mp3

Now for another gift from Jack White--The Raconteurs.

I’ve basically been addicted to this song (and it’s catchy melody and amazing word-play) for the last week. It’s in my head pretty much constantly.

Salute Your Solution.mp3

Well, I got what I got all despite you,
And I get what I get just to spite you.

December 17, 2008

Rosemary Clooney//Mambo Italiano

It's almost Christmas and Rosemary Clooney always reminds me of Christmas because of her role in the classic (and perhaps slightly cheesey) film, White Christmas.

Seriously though, Rosemary Clooney, besides being the aunt of your favorite dreamy and sometimes wry Hollywood actor, has a fucking amazing voice. It's so velvety. And this song is just about as kitschy as they come.

Mambo Italiano.mp3

All you calabrese, do the mambo like you're crazy!

December 16, 2008

Steely Dan//Hey Nineteen

I was at my friend Claire’s holiday party this weekend and Patrice brilliantly put this song on. This is one of those songs that everyone I know hates, but I love with abandon. This is why I probably freaked Patrice out with my excessive glee at hearing not only the intro, but also knowing that I wasn’t the one who pushed play. Patrice is awesome.

Steely Dan, on the other hand, is not really my favorite band. For some reason, this song really strikes a chord with me though. I think it’s because it was a song my dad would play a lot when I was a kid. Underage sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, kids!

Fun fact: Steely Dan is named after “Steely Dan III from Yokohama", a strap-on dildo referenced in Naked Lunch by William Burroughs.

Hey Nineteen.mp3

The Cuervo Gold,
The fine Columbian
Make tonight a wonderful thing.

December 15, 2008

Chad VanGaalen//TMNT Mask

I’m not one for being “friends” with people you don’t actually know over the internet. That said, I do have one internet friend, Megan from California!!!!, and I honestly can’t even remember how I “met” her, but she’s totally the fucking jam and she has the best taste ever (ie. we agree about what’s good when it comes to media and we’re good sharers!). I bring her up because I wouldn’t be posting this track if not for her discerning tastes and propensity to send me recommendations.

I checked out this song a few days ago and now I’m totally hooked on Chad VanGaalen. I love everything about it these songs; the lyrical emotional currency (not far from Sufjan, but a little less sappy), the strange vocal quality (not far from Neil Young, but a little more contemporary), the writing (lots of dynamics) and the sound sets (weird…different).

This song is about needing to escape from something shitty in life and finding, even in the most potentially natural setting (the river), caches of modern detritus and waste (like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mask for which the track is named). Furthermore, it’s about the realization that whatever momentary peace is found, even in a grotesque oasis, it’s just that--momentary. Life keeps moving, or as Mr. VanGaalen so astutely observes, “not really moving, just waiting.”

TMNT Mask.mp3

I’m wishing I could stay here forever
But the river won’t stay that long, it’s moving on.
I’m a shopping cart stuck on an island,
Stranded in the middle getting higher and thirsty
And not really moving just waiting for this water to rise up again
And pull me along.

December 12, 2008


Guys, it's been a rough week. Thank god for
[Local! Music! Friday!]

Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

Canada was a band I liked to see way back when at The Halfass in the golden days, before things got all harsh there about “drinking whiskey” and “eating free food” and “walking out with 12 of those little pints of Ben and Jerry’s.” Back me up here, Becky! The Halfass fueled some pretty fun times for me and my EQ cohorts, including a spontaneous lettuce fight in Emily Bate and Haley’s room (speaking of, Happy Birthday, EMILY BATE !).

So, yeah, back to Canada, who broke up and recently got back together, with a recent CMJ show at Union Pool, which was fun and nice to see everyone at! Been seeing more of Joe Scott and his other band, That’s Him! That’s The Guy! lately. Actually, my dear friend and bandmate Karl Sturk (who will also someday have a LMF feature here) is playing a hot show in Philly tonight with Mr. Scott at The Fire. I was always a big fan of this song, which Scott and the rest of the gang played at the particular Halfass show I saw.


More about Canada here at QuiSci.

And it’s hard, hard, it’s frozen hard
Where we slept, slept, like abandoned cars
With our dreams in our empty pockets
Of the clothes that we wore.
Now we wake up to the ghosts
Of the families
Who once lived there,
But don’t live there anymore.

December 11, 2008

Sebastian Tellier//Divine

I first heard Sebastian Tellier, who has worked with the likes of Air and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk, when I was eating brunch at Ethan’s apartment in Greenpoint. Annie was in town and she cooked for us. I’m pretty sure Hurricane Hanna was also in town. I kept saying “hurri-cainn!!!” over and over again. It started off as endearing and rapidly turned to obnoxious, I think, which I find that many of my jokes have a tendency to do.

Tellier’s music from his newest album sounds exactly like late 70s/early 80s gay porn soundtrack—but it’s actually quite good, probably mostly because he’s French. In fact, the music is so…uh….suggestive (uh…the album is called SEXUALITY!) that Tellier himself has considered licensing it out to a tasteful porn flick. You go, girl.


Tellier plays a show tonight at Le Poisson Rogue. If I wasn’t totally sleep-deprived and over-extended at this moment, I’d say you’d definitely see me there. Under the current circumstances though, there will definitely be odds.

December 10, 2008

Life Without Buildings//Young Offenders

Last night, I went to see Black Watch at St. Ann’s Warehouse (thanks, Karl!). I was kind of blown away by how good it was and some of the thematic food for thought it provided.

It also got me thinking about the Scots and their pretty unique cultural contributions (bagpipes, kilts, Belle and Sebastian…hello!). This song doesn’t really have anything to do with the content presented in the play, but it is from Scottish art school band, Life Without Buildings.

I really liked listening to this song, and other LWBs songs, when I lived in London, especially right before a particularly debaucherous night out at The Ghetto. My, that was a different time. Nag Nag Nag? Misshapes? Anybody?

Young Offenders.mp3

Wednesday pick-me-up: how I need you!

In any city other city in the world…

December 9, 2008

Aimee Mann//Choice in the Matter

Aimee Mann practically saved my life in high school. I’m not kidding.

Jon Brion-produced I’m With Stupid was another brilliant and life-changing gift from Joel. Every track is golden; every bitter, deadpan word was one that spoke directly to the feeling of disaffected outcast youthfulness that I had at 16 in the suburbs of New Jersey. To this day, this album sits at the top of my desert island necessities.

You may know Aimee Mann from her role in one of my favorite guilty pleasure bands, Til’ Tuesday (80s hit: “Voices Carry,” which some of my friends heard as “This is Scary” and some other friends heard as “This is Gary”). Perhaps synth nightmare/my favorite, “Love In a Vaccum” will someday find it’s way onto this very blog, although the fact that my entire TT collection lives on vinyl and tape make this a little difficult.

You may also know Aimee Mann from her soundtrack/theme work on one of my favorite movies, Magnolia. You know that scene where every character sings part of a song? Yep.

What else can I tell you about Ms. Mann?

She’s married to Michael Penn, musician and brother of Sean Penn.
She has a song about my favorite comic (and tattoo inspiration) Ghost World.
She has a cameo in my least favorite move, The Big Lebowski.
Her battles with the record industry have been messy and public (presumably what the title of this album references).
She now has her own record label, the aptly named SuperEgo.
She used to have a rattail.
She is a badass (see one above).
She is an amazing songwriter and lyricist.

This is a song I learned how to play in the early days of me playing guitar. I don’t really ever tire of it, or any track on IWS:

Choice in the Matter.mp3

Skip the cloak and dagger bit.
Don’t you know we’re sick of it?

As much as I would like to stay,
The message light just blinks away…
And while I’m here, you won’t push play.

December 4, 2008

Chuck Berry//Your Driver, Spoon//Idiot Driver, The White Stripes//Big 3 Killed My Baby, The Anniversary//D in Detroit

Hey again, guys. Know how the car companies just asked for a giant bailout!?!?! You probably do.

The state of the American Auto industry is something I’ve always kept half an eye on, ever since my six-year stay in Michigan educated me to the peculiarities of the its culture (yes, execs and employees of different companies did segregate out into different neighborhoods—a tidbit I learned from Detroit aficionado, Dan Faichney) and economy. Indeed, Michigan, and more specifically Detroit, is like a mini ecosystem where the car is the only food in town and shit! Now all the cars are dying out! WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO!?!?

In honor of all the good, bad and the ugly of The Big Three and beyond, please accept these four sweet songs (playing a little catch up for upcoming vacation from internets):

I Want to be Your Driver

This song, which was put on a mix for me by one good, good friend, Emily Bate, harkens back to the good old days of the automobile. Shiny chrome! What a fine machine! AND IT REALLY COOKS!

This song may be a metaphor for…something? What do you think?

I Want to be Your Driver.mp3

Idiot Driver

And then…the hoard descended and everyone needed a fly ride! The highways swarmed and grew congested. You wanted to hit that souped up Honda next to you at full ramming speed!


Idiot Driver.mp3

The Big Three Killed My Baby

What would this post be without this song? Nothing, that’s what.

Those greedy sons-a-bitches keep churning out the shitty cars and ruining the lives of honest Americans, poisoning the environment, getting into bed with corrupt oil companies and generally sucking hard. At least they didn’t take your first born…or kill your spouse….er….nevermind.

The Big Three Killed My Baby.mp3

D in Detroit

Oh, as if killing your baby wasn’t enough…let’s not forget an entire destroyed city! Detroit was once the third largest metropolis in the country. It is now a burnt-out shell of urban hell. Your taxes, about to be hard at work.

This band is a guilty pleasure that I can trace back to high school. They're so good...for emo!

D in Detroit.mp3

Now will somebody please throw these guys some dollars!

December 2, 2008

Dressy Bessy//I Saw Cinnamon

There was this one sunny and delightful day sometime in 2002 that was declared Bad Pop Day. On Bad Pop Day, you could play pop that was bad or pop that was so bad it was good or good pop or just pop. This band falls somewhere between 2, 3 and 4. All their songs are extremely vapid (so vapid that I’m not sure there actually is any lyrical content) and extremely catchy. Even their song and album titles are the total embodiment of pop: “Ultra Vivid Color,” “Pink Hearts Yellow Moons,” “Sunny,” “California,”…

It’s only Tuesday, but it might be turning into an informal Bad Pop Week here at OSS. Hold on to your transistor radios, folks! It’s time for some Dressy Bessy!

Random Trivia One: Elephant Six Alert! Guitarist John Hill also plays with Bad Pop Day-worthy band, The Apples in Stereo
Random Trivia Two: A Dressy Bessy song was featured in the hilarious (and gay) movie But I’m a Cheerleader, starring Clea Duvall, who I am in love with.
Random Trivia Three: I saw Dressy Bessy at the Knitting Factory a few years back and Sean Lango yelled, “THANK YOU MISSUS BESSY!” to Tammy Ealom.

Can you tell I didn’t sleep enough last night? I didn’t sleep enough last night.

I Saw Cinnamon.mp3

I Saw Cinnamon
Running Down the Road
He had his arms full of melody
Fa So La Ti Da!

Bad Pop—as good as coffee? Not quite.

December 1, 2008

Oasis//She's Electric

Welcome back. If you’re like me, you’re still shaking off the cobwebs of the holiday. Too much food and drink! It’s gotta end sometime.

This weekend, I got really drunk at a bar in Astoria called, I shit you not, Sissy Mcginty's. My friends put some songs on the jukebox and one of the songs they played was off the Oasis album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. This reminded me that I used to LOVE this album. I immediately went home and downloaded it.

It’s astounding that a band could so blatantly and unabashedly rip off The Beatles in every way possible and still be kind of ok in their own right. I’m not saying that I want to spend tons of my life listening to Oasis, but this album was fun and I love this song. It’s so stupid and catchy.

She’s Electric.mp3

Remember when the news was all about the weekly feuds of the Gallagher Bros? Those were the good ol' days.

She’s electric.
She’s in a family full of eccentrics.