November 30, 2009

Bebel Gilberto//The Real Thing

Smoooooth Monday Mail. What is Monday Mail?

It’s very hard for me to resist a collaboration between the daughter of João Gilberto (Astrud was his wife) and Winehouse-producer Mark Ronson (SamRo is his sis).

Myles from Sneak Attack says:

Originally performed by Sergio Mendes and written by Steve Wonder, Bebel Gilberto and Mark Ronson put their spin on "The Real Thing". The original version is an undeniable disco track, but one would never know from this reinterpretation. Bebel's sultry voice and Mark Ronson's killer horns and percussion reintroduce this classic to a new generation of music fans. "The Real Thing" appears on Bebel Gilberto's new album All In One, out now.

The production on this is, predictably, lush, fabulous and lounge-y. So sit back, relax and try to let go of your anger at having to return to work post-four day weekend.

The Real Thing.mp3

Had a chance to look forward
To be part of your love in my dreams,
But I can't be happy with
Fantasizing instead of the real thing.
The real thing, not my dreams--
The real thing.

November 27, 2009

Johnny Cash//Cocaine Blues, Folsom Prison Blues

I had a fantastic Thanksgiving. It included an amazing meal shared with amazing people, a lovely walk, foosball competition, saxophone performance and some kickass country songs. Round two was filled with whiskey, pie and a hilarious charades-style game called Celebrity. How was yours?

I have so much to be thankful for in my life! It's overwhelming! Since we're giving thanks, I want to give you a double dose of songs to be thankful for, by a man we should all be thankful for, Johnny Cash.

Mr. Cash passed away in 2003. If you want the full (overdramatic/exaggerated) history, go ahead and watch Walk the Line. What's worth knowing: he was a country legend who made incredible music, was an active advocate around a number of political issues and crossed paths with plenty of other country legends ( and their kids).

These songs were performed by Cash, who felt a lot of compassion for prisoners, live in Folsom Prison in '68 (he played San Quentin in '69). What's amazing: the first song tells about how a man (Willy Lee, or Bad Lee Brown in a much earlier version) gets himself into Folsom. The second is about a man's experience in Folsom, after killing a man (in Reno). You can almost imagine that these two men stuck in Folsom together, trading stories of their respective fates.

Last night, Karen's dad, Dr. Bob, played rousing renditions of both these songs for us. Karen also told us that when her mom wasn't around, and Dr. Bob was charged with putting her to bed, he used to play her "Cocaine Blues" to get her to sleep. Now, that's what I call awesome parenting.

Cocaine Blues.mp3

Folsom Prison Blues.mp3

I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down.
I went right home and I went to bed.
I stuck that lovin' '44 beneath my head.

November 26, 2009

Earthworms//Mo' Taters

I'm sitting here in my family's kitchen in New Jersey, playing today's song for my grandparents. They are dancing along. Mamoo heard the first line and exclaimed, "this is my kind of music!"

It's Thanksgiving and everyone knows that the best part of the traditional American meal is not the Turkey, but IS actually the potato dish. Whether you eat yours roasted or in sweet in one of those caserole-with-mini-marshmallow situations, potatoes are the jam.

I prefer my potatos white and mashed and made by Mamoo according to her secret recipe, which I think includes A LOT of butter.

I came across this song on a LP, called Las Vegas Grind, that Ethan (who I've coicedentally celebrated Thanksgiving with three years in a row now and who is on his way here AS WE SPEAK) gave me. He bought it for me because my favorite graphic novelist/life hero Dan Clowes did the cover (see below). I really love Dan Clowes. I only have one tattoo and it's a frame of Ghost World.

This band is so obscure that there's virtually no information available about them anywhere (and the internet can't decide if they're called "Earthworm," "Earthworms" or "Earthworms!"). LVG doesn't have liner notes and although we can assume that these are all '50s bands, it's kind of hard to tell anything beyond that.

What is clear, however, is that this song is a complete celebration of "taters" and all the many different ways you can enjoy them. It is also a jam, and highly danceable for kids of all ages.

So, from OSS, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are hanging out with people you love and eating plenty of delicious food, including potatoes.

Mo' Taters.mp3

Mo' taters, Ma!

November 25, 2009

PJ Harvey//The Mess We're In, This is Love

Angelina recently reminded me of the awesomeness of Stories of the City, Stories of the Sea (a quintessentially New York album), thanks to her recent re-obsession with "The Mess We're In," featuring our favorite depressing British man, Thom Yorke. I've been playing it a lot again. It's a fantastic album.

I really like PJ Harvey, even though she's a total Patti Smith rip-off (she denies this over and over, but I don't understand how it could possibly not be true). Although the two can be sonically and vocally very similar, her stuff often has a slightly different energy. I'll never tire of songs like "C'mon Billy" and "Yuri G." Like Smith, everything's raw and tough.

With gobs of buzz and critical acclaim, SotC,SotS was really Harvey's mainstream breakout. For me, it will always represent this very specific time of life. I bought it just before I went on vacation with my family the summer after my senior year of high school. My boyfriend and I had just gotten back together and he came along for some of the two weeks in Maine. My dad's blue Acura was on it's way out at the time, but this unofficially became our car on vacation and I drove it much too fast on tiny winding island roads. We'd go out after everyone would go to sleep and smoke cloves by the dock. We dyed our hair with henna and madeout a lot, all the while spinning the hell out of this album, Amnesiac and a short EP Nick bought me called The Modern Age, put out by a band no one had heard of at the time called (haha) The Strokes.

That summer was perfect, golden. In a few months, I would go to college. Nick and I would break up again, this time for good. 9/11 would happen. Life changes. But I can almost taste the cloves and feel the cool New England air of the summer of '01 on my skin when "This is Love" comes on.

The Mess We're In.mp3

This is Love.mp3

I can't believe
Life's so complex,
When I just wanna sit here
And watch you undress.

November 23, 2009

Hurricane Bells//The Winters in New York

BRRR: Monday Mail.
What is Monday Mail?

The winters in New York are cold, but not as cold as the ones in Chicago, where it is always at least 10 degrees colder. I’m back from there now and that said, we actually had pretty awesome weather this time around. It was warm enough to be outside without scarves and hats much of the time.

Neha, from Vangrant, says:

Vagrant's latest signing is a band called Hurricane Bells which was created by Longwave vocalist, Steve Schiltz. The band's debut album, Tonight Is the Ghost, was released on Nov 11th… The band gained attention by earning a spot on the highly credible Twilight: New Moon soundtrack released last month.

While I highly DON’T CARE about their Twilight slot (if anything this makes me NOT want to listen), I have to say, I’m glad I did because this band is nice. I hear a lot of subtle influences in the sound: vox that are reminiscent of The Shins, drums/ guitar/keyboard combo actually sounds a bit like Varnaline, electric guitar tone that reminds me of vintage 10KM. All good except that weird overdramic guitar solo, which I am not sure if I like yet.

Doing a bit of research, it seems as though this band/guy (Bells is really just the solo project of Longwave’s Steven Schilitz) was relatively unknown until his not-much-viewed myspace page led him to the Twilight gig. That’s some serious luck, huh? Of course, having talent certainly doesn’t hurt.

The Winters in New York.mp3

The winters in New York are hell
With bitterness and cold.

November 18, 2009

Aimee Mann//One, Jon Brion//I Believe She's Lying

Continuing on this week's wave of Nilsson (OH MY GOD IT WAS NILSSON WEEK!), here is a recording of one of my favorite artists covering one of his signature songs, produced by one of my favorite producers for another of my favorite movies AND a song by that producer, who also scored the movie. Following?

Artist: Aimee Mann
Song: One
Producer: Jon Brion
Movie: Magnolia

I love Magnolia. I think I can quote the whole thing. Gross, right? I love the Magnolia soundtrack too because, aside from the Supertramp tracks, what's not to love? Mann's rendition of "One" makes the whole thing seems like an introspective and depressing affair.

Also everyone knows I have a serious hard-on for JB and everything he does. I'm shocked I haven't put one of his songs up here yet. There are so many potentials, but I love this one for it's signature JB crazy drums.

Bonus points, Paul Thomas Anderson, writer and director of Magnolia, Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Etc., was dating Fiona Apple at the time of Magnolia's production. One of her pantings is in the film.

AND WITH THAT, I'm signing off for the week, OSS. Hope you've enjoyed my ramblings. I mean, thanks for your patience. Now, somebody get me a ticket to Largo.


I Believe She's Lying.mp3

"No" is the saddest experience you'll ever know.
Yes, it's the saddest experience you'll ever know
Because one is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever know.

November 17, 2009

Blackalicious//Blazing Arrow

Blackalicious, the incredible hip hop duo of rapper Gift of Gab and DJ/producer Xcel, is totally fucking awesome. Not only does Gift rap (really well) about things like The Periodic Table of Elements and the alphabet, but Xcel has the chops to sample one of yesterday’s songs, “Me and My Arrow” and turn it from a sweet early 70s pop track into a bumpin' backing beat.

I really like nerdy rappers like who can really kick it and Gab has some serious skills. How does he rhyme that many complicated words that fast?! It's insane! Another Nick find, I think I first had a burned copy of Nia from him that got scratched up so bad by the time I was finished with it that only half of it played.

Blackalicious also wrote a song about how Cisqo (you know—that one-hit-wonder “Thong Song” guy) was a hack. The video is also WORTH IT. So many props to these guys. Blackalicious, we salute you.

Blazing Arrow.mp3

I rock it for the chocolate, for the awkward, for the thoughtless,
In your home or at your office,
I'm your early morning coffee.

November 16, 2009

Harry Nilsson//Me and My Arrow, Think About Your Troubles

We interrupt your regularly schedule program for: two sweet songs and more to follow.

These songs/this album has been coming up a lot in my life. Also, I was thinking about it and these tracks will provide enough fuel for an entire week of jams, running the gambit from retro pop to hip hop and touching on two of my favorite (cultish) films in the process. Pair this with the fact that I’m out of town starting Thursday, and I think this means it’s time to run with it, even though the usual routine for today is Monday Mail…but hey, doesn’t this all sound exciting?

As you may know, I recently got my ability to play records back (sort of). This record is one of my favorites. The Point! is an animated children’s movie that was released in 1971. The animation is very much in the style of Yellow Submarine. It touches on themes of racism and existentialism and (shock) was my favorite movie as a kid.

Emily happened to have the record as a kid, but was totally unaware of the movie. I went out and tracked down the DVD in college, so we watched in one night. Actually, I have forced many of my friends to watch this movie over the years, sometimes while…ahem…intoxicated, with varying degrees of success in converting them to Point cultdom. Speaking of intoxication, this is what inspired it all:

I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to point. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it. – Harry Nilsson

Yes. Anyway, I brought this record out with me to my DJ gig a few weeks ago and played “Me and My Arrow” (about main character Oblio’s love for his dog) and “Poli High” (about the movie's competitive game, Triangle Toss) with some narration between. A guy came up to me expressing his extreme love for The Point. He told me that he never expcted to hear the song at the bar and that if I wanted this David Bowie record his dad had just given him, I could totally have it, because, hey, I was a DJ and he didn't even have a turntable. Did I mention that he was drunk? Still, this is what this movie does to people—compels them to profess love and to give random gifts to people they barely know.

It just so happens that Emily and I have also been covering “Think About Your Troubles” FORever (there’s embarrassingly old YouTube footage to prove it). We got to do it again on Sat. at The 50/50 with two ukes!

Final note: why didn’t’ anyone tell me about this?!

All the music on this album is oozing with extremely amazing pure wonderful catchy goodness. Please enjoy both of these tracks and expect another related and awesome song tomorrow.

Me and My Arrow.mp3

Think About Your Troubles.mp3

You can take your teardrops
And drop ‘em in a tea cup.
Take it down to the riverside and
Throw it over the side
To be swept up by a current
And taken to the ocean to be eaten by some fishes
That were eaten by some fishes
Then swallowed by a whale
Who grew so old,
He decomposed.

Unrelated: Darcy Turenne, a pro freeride mountain biker/TV host, gave us an awesome shout-out in her blog. Thanks for reading, Darcy.

November 13, 2009

Sah Ril//Respiration

Newark can give you chills, and it's Local Music Friday the 13th!
Tell me...what is this Local Music Fridays?

I know Matt aka Sah Ril from work. Actually, he just made a very Newark-centric video with another colleague, Amil.

I don't talk about it that much, but I do work in Newark, which is a weird city. As a kid I grew up joint custody--7/8 Jersey suburbs, 1/8 Washington Heights/Yonkers. As a youth, to me, Newark was the place where people went to buy drugs. Like Detroit, it's a city that suffered the most severe burn out post race riots...and you can still feel that vibe there. That said, it's doing everything it damn well can to try to bounce back.

I think what's super strange about the city to me is that the gentrification seems a bit forced. A few years ago, government came in with a big push: bring in businesses, improve safety, improve infrastructure, clean things up. It worked...kind of...but the result is a too-clean place that just feels off. The city skipped a step in the cycle of natural gentrification--there was a serious lack of artists and queers, the groups that make up the first wave of change (extreme examples: The LES, Williamsburg).

That's why it really makes me happy to see artists who are doing their thing for real in Newark. I think Newark would thrive with more strong artists, in all disciplines, to build a culture beyond the upper tier of what's in Museums or places like NJPac or the PRU Center. It just needs to regrow an organic scene.

That said, it seems like hip hop has always had a place to land in the bricks. One of my favorite and most cherished memories in high school was driving around listening to a tape that Sean had copied from a local music broadcast on WSOU. It featured tons of freestyling local rappers who were based in or heavily associated with Newark, including our favorite Tame One. Even now, we simply refer to this as The Tape and many of my friends can still rhyme the thing start to finish.

What's really cool about what Sah is doing is that it's original. You can tell the guy has a ton of influences (I know for a fact that he loves Prince and Bjork) and he's doing what he can to push up to and over the edges of the genre in which he's working.

This track is off his newest mixtape, Back Where the Pain Is- Vol 2: De La Minded. You can download the whole thing for free here.


Nowadays it's either
What's new
Fuck you.

Unrelated:: but in other Local Music news, The Fifty Fifty turns One tomorrow. Come celebrate with us.

November 12, 2009

Ella Fitzgerald//How High the Moon

A few nights ago, A. and I were waiting for the G train to come in the Metro-Lorimer Station. There was a dude busking. He actually wasn't bad, except when he tried to play this song.

Official announcement! Listen everyone! Although it's a standard, no one can do this song as well as Ella did, so you should really just stop trying. Behold the seven minutes and six seconds of pure amazing delivered by Ella in this live (yes, it was LIVE!) recording. They don't make 'em like the used to anymore. Can you imagine anyone having to apply pitch correction to this?

For a little while, Katy was really into scat singing. She was not the best scat-er (love you, Katy). She thought scating was saying things like "Happy birthday irthday irthday." Ryan played her this song once to teach her about scat singing (note Ella's picture in the wiki entry) and it seemed like she understood for about 5 minutes. Then she went right back to scat-ing. Sometimes you just have to scat.

How High the Moon.mp3

They asked me how I knew my true love was true.

November 11, 2009

The Beatles//Taxman

I posted The Beach Boys yesterday and The Rolling Stones last week, but you know what...I've never posted a song by The Beatles.

The whole Rolling Stones vs. Beatles: WHO IS THE BEST BAND EVARRR?! debate is really tired and stupid to me. As Karl and I once discussed, there's no use in even comparing. The Rolling Stones are a rock and roll band. The Beatles were a pop band. Not to mention, way to keep the debate as narrow as possible: white Brit boys who love to copy american R+B...really? There's no one else?

I doubt there's much I could say about The Beatles that hasn't already been said. Amazing band. Amazing canon of work. I kind of enjoy them most when they're being a bit tongue in cheek, like "Dr. Robert" (Revolver is my favorite) or "Back in the USSR", or when they're bringing a little heat to the music. I dislike them most when they're being cheesy (Ringo's most annoying "Yellow Submarine") or when they're being too cutesy (I believe that Paul was the original whiney emo kid).

I was thinking of putting "Back in the USSR" up today, actually, to jump on the bandwagon of celebrating the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall...and because yesterday accidently got so political. But, thinking about it, that song doesn't even rate close to my favorite I'm sticking with the first Beatles song I ever fell in love with: Taxman.

I often find that I love George's songs the most. This song is quite clever. At one point, it makes a funny little play on words, equating "Taxman" with "Batman" ("Bat Macumba," anyone?). At another, it references by name two prominent British politicians, Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. Of course, it also points out everything the gov. could ever find a way to tax! Talk about ever-politically relevant.


If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to like to sit, I’ll tax your seat,
If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat.
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet:

November 10, 2009

The Beach Boys//Wouldn't It Be Nice?

I am feeling a little bit out of it today. It seems like it’s taking me forever to wake up. The result of this is often that I say inappropriate things to people. Not inappropriate like NSFW, but inappropriate like WTF? Example:
Friend: “Hey, what’s up”
Me: “What? What is up? Oh. Yes. Hi. Hello.”

When I’m feeling particularly asleep on the subway, I often cook up ridiculous ideas that I think are awesome until I fully wake up. This morning, I was thinking about gay marriage, mostly because Gov. Paterson has been pushing so hard for it (say what you will about the guy, but he gets this for what it truly is—a civil rights issue). I was thinking about how I’ve seen a lot of tee shirts supporting gay marriage, but most of the ones I’ve seen have been kind of ugly (come on, gays—you are supposed to be fashionable!). Then, I was thinking about what kind of gay marriage shirt I would make for myself. I saw it clearly: dark green shirt, cursive-y writing that just read: “Marry me.” And then, somewhere else, maybe on the back, an addendum, “Oh wait, you can’t.” Anybody want to take a crack at this? Or was this just another of my harebrained N train schemes?

Rogue tee shirt design ideas aside, it seems to me that the universe is trying to make me examine some things today. Next, an acquaintance linked to this very interesting article about gay parenting on her Facebook.

Finally, as if personal anxiety about queer marriage and parenting obeys the famed and dreaded rule of threes (anybody see that 30 Rock from a few weeks ago?), my mom emailed me to let me know that yes, it was fine if my girlfriend and I spent the night before Thanksgiving at their house, but no, it was not fine for us to sleep in the same bed. I love my mom (hi, K) and much of the time I even love her quaint antiquated rules, but this kind of felt like the rainbow straw that broke the bisexual camel’s back. Why? Well, when is it ok for you to sleep in the same bed as your spouse in my parent’s house? When you’re married. And when will I get married? “Oh wait, I can’t.” I appreciate that straight children and queer children are subjected to the same old-timey standards when it comes to this matter, but it’s not exactly fair that it’s ILLEGAL for me to ever sleep in the same bed as the person I’m dating under these circumstances. And while A. and I aren’t exactly getting our civil union tomorrow, the whole thing still kinda bums me out.

Combine all this with the fact that I woke up with this perfectly poppy song of oppression in my head a few mornings ago and here's what you get: a weird rambley post about gay marriage and a 60s pop song to go with it.

I highly doubt that The Beach Boys knew how nicely this song, which is from the much-beloved and much-copied-of-late Pet Sounds album, would work for this situation when they wrote it. In fact, it’s well-documented that the song is about the restrictions and lack of independence that comes with childhood. From Wikipedia:

In the Endless Harmony documentary, Brian Wilson described the song as "what children everywhere go through… wouldn't it be nice if we were older, or could run away and get married"…In a 1996 interview, Wilson stated, "'Wouldn't It Be Nice' was not a real long song, but it's a very 'up' song. It expresses the frustrations of youth, what you can't have, what you really want and you have to wait for it."

Please, America…we’re tired of waiting.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice?.mp3
(File removed by request)

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And, after having spent the day together,
Hold each other close the whole night through?

The happy times together we've been spending,
I wish that every kiss was never ending.
Oh, wouldn't it be nice?

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true.
Baby, then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do.
We could be married
And then we'd be happy.

Wouldn't it be nice?

You know it seems the more we talk about it,
It only makes it worse to live without it ,
But let’s talk about it.
Oh, wouldn't it be nice.

November 9, 2009

Animal Kingdom//Tin Man

New Mainstreamish Pop You Can Like (Of Course it’s from Europe): Monday Mail.
What is Monday Mail?

I am not surprised at all that this song and album were produced by Phil Ek. It sounds remarkably like the most recent release from Band of Horses (YET ANOTHER BAND WITH AN ANIMAL NAME). While I felt so-so about that record (some songs were amazing, some not so much), I think this sound, with its reverb-heavy mildly-warbled vox and its brash guitars, really works when it’s fighting for good and not evil. I’m also really really into that mild organ that’s mixed to the back. MMM like it. Ahem, yes…

Lauren from Sneak Attack says:

The album was recorded at Seattle’s Electrokitty Studios with Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, The Shins, Band of Horses). And the band has shared the stage with bands as diverse as Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, Camera Obscura, Snow Patrol and a UK tour with the Silversun Pickups.

For a band that’s trying to pick up press right now, there’s not really a whole lot of info about them on the web. They’re from South London, although, according to The Guardian, “One of the best things you can say about Animal Kingdom is that they don't sound British – rather they sound American, specifically from upstate New York.” I think that’s bullshit. They sound plenty British to me, as much as anything can “sound” anything anymore. However, they also said this: “They could be the first stadium-rock balladeers it's OK to like.” Yeah, ok Guardian, now we're getting somewhere.

Tin Man.mp3

Since you took my heart,
I got a missing part.

November 6, 2009

Dolly Parton//Jolene

I like only a very specific brand of country. I like old, tough, raw, awesome country. I like roots of American folk. I like alt country and cowpunk. I like the country music of other countries. I like Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. I like The Carter Family. I like Lucinda Williams and the Old 97s. I'm predictable. I'm a parody of myself.

Now that you know where I'm coming from, Dolly Parton fucking rules!

I went to Dollywood a few times as a kid with Karen, Deb and Dr. Bob, during our NC family vacations. It's everything you'd imagine from a theme park owned by a country music megastar. There, Karen made me eat a corndog for the first time ever. It made me vomit.

Another funny story: a family friend recently worked on the 9-5 musical. He reported back that, in addition to being a completely snappy dresser EVERYday, Dolly Parton is the best human being ever, personally thanking the firemen who inspected the theater and making her homemade fudge for the cast and crew.

Nice as she may be, I would not fuck around with her. From wikipedia:
Parton has said that the inspiration for the "Jolene" character was a tall, red-headed bank teller who Parton believed was flirting with her husband, and her husband's apparent vulnerability to the teller's charm as indicated by his sudden interest in making frequent trips to the bank. In her live performances of the song, Dolly often states she fought this woman tooth and nail for her husband. However, Parton has also stated that the name "Jolene" was taken from the name of a little red-headed girl with green eyes seeking an autograph after a concert.

"Jolene" hit number one when it was released, was #217 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and has been covered by everyone from The White Stripes (who's version is awesome, live and recorded) to Paula Cole (where HAVE all the cowboys gone?).


Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Im begging of you please don't take my man.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don't take him just because you can.
Your beauty is beyond compare,
With flaming locks of auburn hair.
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green,
Your smile is like a breath of spring.
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene.

November 5, 2009

The Rolling Stones//Sympathy for the Devil

Last night, Pat and I DJ'ed at Lucky's (after the Series ended, poorly). Aside: I yelled, "just fucking win already, Yankees--you're pissing me off!" I don't care about sports at all, but am a Phillies fan by blood. Also, the Yanks are obviously the spoiled rich kid cocky asses of the sport--not likable. I couldn't help but think of the parallels between their win (AGAIN) and Bloomberg's win (AGAIN). Money really can buy you happiness, huh?

I haven't DJ'ed that much and I am definitely still getting the hang of it with fades, transitions, etc. That said, there was a special glory that I felt when I put this song on and heard those signature intro drums blast around the bar. Within minutes, some rock 'n roll types at the end of the bar were bellowing out "hoo hooo!" along with The Stones. I joined them. So FUN.

There's something really amazing to me about the fact that I get to DJ with my dad's original copy of Beggar's Banquet (shhhhh). It felt like a sort of ruthless justice to put this on after having to play Sinatra's "New York, New York" for all the drunk assholes in the bar.

This is definitely my favorite Stones song...and probably one of my favorite songs ever. Songs like this one are what make me feel so crazy and passionate about music. A song like this makes you feel so much. It makes you dance. It makes you want to scream. Also, it's just so tough and we all know that's hot.

If anyone was gonna make you like the devil...right? In the mood to snarl? Here we go:

Sympathy for the Devil.mp3

Let me please introduce myself--
I'm a man of wealth and taste.
I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay.

November 4, 2009

The Glands//Livin' Was Easy

Speaking of songs with which I have a strong memory association, this song reminds me of a sparkly late spring morning, just after my freshman year of college. I was living back at my parent's house, walking down to Montclair to get a cup of coffee. The day was beautiful and perfect and I kind of was asking myself (in a playful, non-serious way) why I had gone away from their home.

It's funny, but no one seems to know much about this band and no one seems to know where they are now. Someone even made a YouTube video about it--for real. What is known is that they were from Athens and they have a kind of off-putting name. says:
The Glands self-released their debut album in 1997. The band claims they called it Double Thriller because they used the same mixing console for it that Michael Jackson used for his Thriller album. Uh, sure. Well, anyway, Bar/None heard the record (which features "Welcome to New Jersey," by the way) and decided to give it a proper release

I've never heard Double Thriller, but I loved their self-titled when it came out. Like many, I wish they would release a new one! Glands, where you at?

Livin' Was Easy.mp3

Why did I go?
I had it so easy.
I had a room of my own
and the weather so warm.

November 3, 2009


Sometimes the things you remember are really odd. For example, I remember that I bought this album (Low’s Things We Lost in the Fire) in 2001 shortly after moving to Ann Arbor, at Matt Braddish’s amazing record store (that I would come to work at in a few years), Underground Sounds. I was there with Ali (who would work at Underground--when it really WAS underground--first and actually help me get the job) and maybe one other person? Liz B.? Ali and I had had recently had a long conversation about Low and how seeing them live had changed her life. She showed me her ticket from the show, which was hand-designed and printed. I can still kind of remember how it looked. I was intrigued and decided to pick up this album, along with Get Lost by The Magnetic Fields (that one came on a year-old tip from a friend’s cousin).

I remember that when I got back to East Quad, I immediately put on the Fields disc and freaked out about it, particularly the opening track, “You and Me and the Moon.” I ran down the hallway to Liz’s room, where many friends were gathered, and insisted that they all “LISTEN TO THIS LIKE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OH MY GOD IT’S SO GOOD.” We blasted it and danced.

Conversely, I can’t remember when I first listened to my other purchase from that day, but certainly when I did, I did not run out and demand to share it with everyone I knew. Low is a sad, troubled band that produces introspective, honest and haunting music best enjoyed in the company of oneself and one’s headphones. As the end of the summer turned to the dead of the winter, my life proceeded to descend into the gray haze of Michigan cold, much-too-drunken evenings and lesbian drama. Sweeping and dramatic, these songs were a lovely soundtrack to events that now appear to be some petty pratfalls of youth (but were then heavy, heartbreaking, tortured times…you get the picture).

I hadn’t thought of this band for a while, but David Martin happened to play this song (with the lovely harmonies and percussion contributions of The VE family) as a cover at The 50 last weekend. It made me want to break out this album again and appreciate that time period from a new vantage point. After all, the leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. Luckily, I haven’t had a winter quite like that one in a great deal time.


When they found your body,
Giant Xs on your eyes.
With your half of the ransom,
You bought some sweet, sweet, sweet
Sweet sunflowers
And gave them to the night.

November 2, 2009


9-12 work; 12-1 lunch; 1-2:30 work; 2:30-3:30 tea; 3:30-5 work; 5-11 pub; now-now Monday Mail.
What is Monday Mail?

How was everyone’s Halloween? Mine was NUTS! It was filled with music, party-hoppin’ and cops. SUCCESS!

I thought maybe people would be interested in something a bit different this time around and the inbox was happy to oblige.

Brooke at Big Hassle writes:

Omo's The White Album is an album full of spiky little pop gems. A little like Laurie Anderson jamming with the Tom Tom Club, or a collaboration of Laurie Anderson and Young Marble Giants, mixed by Ricardo Villalobos, occasionally joined by Enoch Light on vibes and Raymond Scott on synthesizer. This is a surefire chart hit in a parallel universe where all TV programmes are made by David Lynch and every household owns a hover car. If you're looking for music with depth and character, that is fun and wants to get to know you, meet Omo.

It’s hard to find things that are really original and new in our very recycled age. Omo is certainly borrowing from places here, but I like that they’re taking a unique approach to it. I also like that it’s absurd, because, fuck, life is absurd.

Also, I’m fond of tea. I’m drinking some right now. Hell yeah, I am.


Another cup of tea?