Monday, October 31, 2005

I walked in the house, the big bad Fresh Prince/ but Freddy killed all that noise real quick...

Top five Halloween songs:

1. Michael Jackson: Thriller(with the Vincent Price voiceover ending).
2. Lita Ford: Kiss Me Deadly.
3. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince: Nightmare On My Street.
4. The Ramones: Pet Semetary.
5. The Spinanes: Halloween Candy

Sunday, October 30, 2005

You know you have a permanent piece/ of my medium-sized American heart...

1. The National Alligator: This is some really good stuff. I already knew I liked "All the Wine", and noting can approach that high, but some come close, like "Mr. October" or "Friend of Mine". I hear mostly American Music Club, but I get hints of Afghan Whigs and R.E.M. It's not the most even album, and gets a little chilly at times, but it's habit-forming, like cherry Coke, sudoku, or auto-erotic asphyxiation.

2. Joanna Newsom The Milk-Eyed Mender: I like this album. But why do I get the feeling that after liking this album, the next step for me is to become not just a regular NPR listener, but a regular donor during pledge drives? Look for me around town: I'll be using my tote bag to bring home the many precious treasures I found at the used-book store.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

This whiskey priest, he burned his church to keep his girls alive...

iTunes has a four-song live session by the New Pornographers for sale starting... now. The version of "Sing Me Spanish Techno" included continues the sad trend of Carl struggling to find his key when singing it live. The absolute high point, though, is "Streets of Fire", which builds from a campfire sing-along complete with hand claps and four-part harmonies. It's the sweetest sleepover ever, and well worth the not-quite-dollar.

Also, according to their website, you can get New Pornographers ringtones, but I don't support that. I keep my phone on vibrate.

Today also sees the release of a new Spoon single, "My First Time, Vol. 3". It swings like "I Turn My Camera On", and that I support. Call me crazy, but I hear a laid-back Afghan Whigs vibe in the song, and that, too, gets my support.

Actually, the last few weeks have been real clutch for iTunes purchases. Last week I bought Bloc Party's "Two More Years/Hero" single and Iggy Pop's "Candy", which had randomly popped into my head after probably a decade's absence. The Bloc Party songs are 80's robots, but still make a good martini. And while those two songs have dominated my playlist the last week, I come not to talk about Bloc Party. I come to talk about Kate Pierson. Listening to "Candy" reminds me: why didn't Kate get more 'spect? Just in this song: The way her voice catches, the way she belts out "Candy" right before the fade out, that swirling "whoa-ah-whoa-ah-whoa-ah!" that sounds as joyous and unfettered as dancing on a table. Her voice goes from honey to sandpaper and back again in the breath between notes. She should have been singing torch songs and whiskey ballads. She should have been making kick-ass vocal cameos like the ones on "Candy" and R.E.M.'s "Me in Honey", a hired killer. There should be smokey old pictures of her sitting at pianos in cowboy hats and blue jeans. Instead, she's remembered for belting out "tin roof... rusted!" I blame Fred Schneider; eat it, Fred. In the long run, she should have been the Neko Case of the 90s.

And that my friends, is coming full circle.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

We will not be defeated...

I just don't know how I feel about the Go! Team. On the one hand, they're catchy as fuck. On the other hand, they're gimmicky and puerile, like a cuddle party. In fact, this might be the theme music to cuddle parties.

But I do know how I feel about Lacey's constant gossiping on "Real World: Austin" and those little sweaters that are in style for girls. Those things can eat one.

In the name of Martin Luther King... sing...

A few years ago, I saw the Beatles. First they came out looking old school and Liverpudlian, then they came out in full Peppers dress. They played for less than two minutes, but I did see them. They were wax figurines in a wax museum, and somewhere, tinny speakers blared "A Day in the Life" or some such.

On a totally unrelated note, I saw U2 on Wednesday.

I think the 15-year-old me would have been more excited about this. Unfortunately, the me of aught-five just saw it as impersonal. Maybe I'm used to more intimate settings, but this was a museum show.

Don't get me wrong, it was still a good show. I'm still surprised what they can do with one electric guitar. And Bono's voice can just absolutely fill a room. A friend of mine once said his wish was that he could sing, and seeing the way Bono could raise his voice to the rafters and bring people to their feet... yeah, that's power. I mean, they really are a great band. But despite their best efforts, it's hard to move someone, and I mean really move someone, in a venue that big.

A few notes:Also, Philly got a Bruce cameo. Couldn't we at least get a Wolf Blitzer appearance?

"Were you in the shit?"

While those in the know will tell you I'm no friend of the sailor mouth, I would proudly wear this shirt everyday for like, three days in a row. Maybe four. Any longer, and seriously, no amount of washing would make it alright again.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stop shopping, even/ stop buying things...

Wilco is previewing four songs from their upcoming live album on their site. The high points are probably "Airline to Heaven" turning into some kind of Opry stomp and "At Least That's What You Said" building to a towering electric climax (I think I stole that from some erotic poetry I was reading). Despite it being Tweedy's band, it's odd how he's become secondary to the musicianship, almost obscuring his lyrics to the point that they become invisible. Well, maybe that's not fair, but with the current lineup, I think they've created a lot more open space for the music.

"Kicking Television" is still a fooking mess and pretty much the definition of a b-side.

"You know who this is!"

Anyone see "The Apprentice" last night and especially the reward for the winners? Wyclef Jean helped the winners write a song, and if you haven't seen a bunch of white businessmen rap, then God bless you. It was like watching a suicide pact between Wyclef and the show's producers being carried out. Snuff film, pure snuff.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Once I wanted to be the greatest....

After promising over the weekend and not delivering, Matador's put up an MP3 of Cat Power's "The Greatest". I like Matador putting up MP3s months in advance like they did with "Twin Cinema". And this song? I'm not go to go with the Dusty Springfield comparisons people have made - I mean, jesus, have these people actually heard Dusty in Memphis? - but the fuller sound does treat Ms. Marshall well, and she's never overwhelmed. I don't think it strays too far from formula; it's You Are Free with session musicians. I wonder what the next of the album will bring us next year...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

No speaka the English/ I only do the math...

I'm no mathematician, but I'm pretty confident in the equation DangerDoom + Matthew Lesko = 30 seconds of brilliance.

"Mincemeat" is already one of my favorite songs this year and at the moment it's probably number 2 on the Billboard chart in my head (number one is "Since U Been Gone" and I'm not ashamed to admit it). Now you can download "Sofa King" here.

Friday, October 14, 2005

And the press is after you/ jumping over fences just to see who's cool...

Kathleen Edwards finally makes the gossip pages of the Washington Post (scroll down to the bottom).
"We don't have hurricanes there."

-- Canadian country-rocker Kathleen Edwards at the 9:30 club Monday, explaining why Americans should consider moving north of the border. Only one fan booed, and she gave him a beer.
When I saw here in Virginia, oh-so-many years ago, she was making jokes about the D.C. sniper. She's edgy; she's the George Carlin of Canadian "country-rockers".

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Dude, that's crap, ya gotta live hardcore"

Two things for a slow Friday, both of which prove that for all the information that can be had on the internets, without the weird, random shit, it's just potatoes without gravy:

1. Punk rock quotes, via Overheard in New York.
2. Emo oranges, courtesy of

Yes, I can feel you're about to forget...

When I Pretend to Fall was one of my favorite albums of aught-three (behind Hearts of Oak and Electric Version), so I'd been looking forward to what the Long Winters did next for a while. So while I have to wait until next year for "The Sopranos" and a full-length Winters album (damn you for being so slow, 2005), there's a new EP to tide us over, and a free song to download.

Unfortunately, "Ultimatum" doesn't really do anything for me. It's got the timeless (or anachronistic) feel of "Bride and Bridle" and a real lack of focus which makes a song less than four minutes feel a lot longer. Besides, I was never a big "Bride and Bridle" fan; on Pretend, I liked the pop of the songs at the beginning and the wit of the songs toward the end. This, like "Bride", feels both chilly and indulgent. It doesn't make cookies with real butter, if you know what I mean.

But I will always have "Scared Straight". Now there's a song...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Here's a house to put wolves at the door...

This is what we've been waiting for, right? All four original members of R.E.M. reuniting. It was only for a wedding, but still, I take the sunshine where I can get it. The only way it could be better is if Scott Litt worked the soundboard. When they make the R.E.M. movie, this has to be the last scene. Forget the inevitable three more mediocre albums; the slow, inglorious fade; the one-paragraph news brief of their break up in Rolling Stone (and naval-gazing, jokey write-up on Pitchfork). The camera slowly rolls out as people put down their drinks, gather round, and the first chords of "Standing Still" are struck. I smell Oscar.

And a wedding reception in a bowling alley? It's like someone's plagarized my wedding diary. If they had a make-your-own-taco bar, I'm bringing suit.

Monday, October 10, 2005

And in her pocket/ she holds a Catholic and a key...

Why did no one tell me about this? A goddamn Jawbox tribute album and I'm in the dark about it. This hurts.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Why do good things never want to stay?

Top five good things right now:
1. Watching hockey and drinking Molson
2. DangerDoom: "Mincemeat"
3. "Aqua Teen Hunger Force"
4. Death Cab for Cutie: Plans
5. "Arrested Development" Season 2 DVD

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