Friday, December 30, 2011

Moving Right Along

Least Favorite Soundtrack of 2011 (or maybe it's just the most disappointing):

The Muppets. Simple (minded) forgettable songs, egregious use of Starship's "We Built This City", flavorless vocals and they missed the best pun possible with a chicken cover of "Fuck You" ("Cluck You" anyone?). Bret, Bret, Bret. I expected so much more. Was Jermaine really the genius of the Conchords?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Favorite Soundtrack of 2011

Drive. Great movie, great soundtrack (even if it pilfered songs from the odd corners of the last 5 years) i even like the instrumentals. it's been awhile since i was that fascinated by a score. and that a score was so integral to the movie.

Sometimes, We Are All We Got

I really wasn't planning on going shopping today. Really. Just had to correct a purchase error (lack of purchase error more precisely) from yesterday and then i was done. but there it was, sitting all proud and pretty on the shelf above thursday. Poco's "The Blue and Gray" (one way records) for 6.95. i'd long since given up on this and just decided to pick up the under the gun/the blue and gray twofer import when it got down to a reasonable price (like 6.95). but instead....delightful.

and some other fun stuff:

my own copy of andy summers/robert fripp bewitched
the might lemon drops-happy head (with a pile of bonus tracks)
jefferson starship-winds of change
michael murphy-blue sky night thunder (i know, it's not worth anything, but i used to love this album and i'm quite curious to hear it again)
missing person-Greatest
men without hats-collection

What About Us?

ya. just realized i never gave any love to the handsome furs disc. hmmm.

When You Flew Out of the Nest

Top Five Shows of 2011:

5. Paul Simon-First Avenue. He wasn't in the best of voice and not terribly chatty, but with that body of work, he doesn't need to be. and the solo "Sounds of Silence" gave me a case of the permanente goosebumps.

4. Handsome Furs-Triple Rock. I'll give up Wolf Parade if it means i can get an album and tour a year from the HF. This show was just as good (maybe better) than the 7th street entry show for Face Control. Get in, get played, get out in around an hour. my clothes are still vibrating.

3. My Morning Jacket-Rock the Garden. Now i know what all the fuss about RtG and MMJ live is all about. I think that might have been the best spectacle show i've ever seen. Yim is a rock god. now about that neko case performance.....

2. Noah and the Whale-First Avenue. i tried to keep this off my list. i really did. i can't wait to see them again.

1. Peter, Bjorn and John-First Avenue. ok, first off, i didn't get nearly trampled so that was good. secondly, this was my third time seeing them and by far and away my number one favorite time. thirdly, that Young Folks to Second Chance sequence was dynamite.

To Be a Remainder

Death Cab for Cutie
First Avenue
May 22, 2011

I really hate that "will call" arm band shit. what am i supposed to put on my wall? and it's much easier just to sell a ticket if you have a hard copy instead of having to meet some person in the line at the depot so you can get your armbands together (hell....i felt like a part of Roma di Luna for a couple months) to say nothing of the problems presented if you can't go to the show and just want to flip both tix. (funny how nobody is a capitalist, but i've never seen such selfish socialists)

but i digress.

DCFC was awesome from the get go and i was mesmerized the entire show (ok, ben gibbard's long sweaty hair was awful and i can see why Zooey left him because he wouldn't get it cut...but otherwise) Place was packed, but we had the wall so things could not have been more perfect. Openers were ok (but i do need to stop buying cds by the opening act....i think i picked that up from Shawn)

They had me from the first bass lines of "I Will Possess Your Heart" and did i mention the super handsome bass player? no? the bass player is really hot, and he walked by the line whilst we were waiting to get in the doors, which is sorta cool and nobody freaked too much when he passed by) but this show rolled all the way through. I'm not 100% deep into them, but they played a setlist comprised of 75% of the songs i know and love (and most of the ones i didn't know were from the Codes and Keys disc, which was just about to come out) but even the older and newest titles held me rapt. Highlights obviously were "Long Division", Soul Meets Body" and "Crooked Teeth" but that's just picking teeth. Everything was great. Tortillamask put a pile of the show up on YouTube. check it out and get a feel for the show. (

Set list below.

I Will Possess Your Heart / The New Year / Why You'd Want to Live Here / A Movie Script Ending / Some Boys / Doors Unlocked and Open / Photobooth / Long Division / Grapevine Fires / Codes and Keys / What Sarah Said / I Will Follow You into the Dark / You Are a Tourist / Underneath The Sycamore / Meet Me on the Equinox / Company Calls / Soul Meets Body / Cath... / Crooked Teeth / The Sound of Settling ENCORE: Home Is a Fire / Title and Registration / Transatlanticism

Operator Put Me Through

The Kills
First Avenue
May 5, 2011

Memory bites me on this one. I know it was a great show (and Alison Mosshart is rock god personified, right up there with Karen O) but i can't quite drawn down on this one. Surely, i remember that Cold Cave pretty much were annoying as hell, trying my patience with their overly theatrical antics, but about the kills? You are gonna have to fill in the blanks, cos it's just not there.

Had a Dream

Hot damn. Although i didn't have it on my rocket list (mostly because i thought both were done entities) i'm going to a super cool show in march.

Roger Hodgson at Hinckley.

how cool? although i knew he still toured on occassion (dude has done exactly one original album since Hai Hai in 87) i certainly never expected him to come this way, what with the demise of Taste of Minnesota and all. Ok, it's not that grand supertramp reunion that EVERYONE has longed for (how can it be a real 40th reunion without Roger anyway), but this will be good (and i always favored him more than Rick Davies anyway).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holy Grail Update

found another holy grail item last night. the debut from the bears. a little dear at 19.95, but's all about the music, right. it's been a good year for holy grails. picked up the following:

Bears s/t
Bears Rise and Shine (although i was a little irked that i paid 13.95 and two weeks later they had a copy for 8.95)
Birtles and Gobles the last romance
Glenn Shorrock Villain of the Peace (australian version, no "don't girls get lonely, but three tracks i hadn't heard before)
Greg Kihn Kinhspiracy
Naked Eyes Very Best (melloy found this one, but he was kind enough to make me a copy....same difference)
Nick Lowe Nick the Knife
Peter Wolf Lights Out (probably my best find all year. 4.99)
Poco Under the Gun ($20 new, then i flipped it for $45. course, i didn't make a copy)
Radio Daze (vol 4,5)
Sheena Easton Private Heaven (One Way)

few holy grail additions (irks me that i let a couple of these cc editions through my hands-sold both 24 carrots and modern times for a pittance...kinda dumb, but i guess i thought they would be more common)

al stewart-russians and americans (collectors choice)
al stewart-last days of the century (collectors choice)
al stewart-orange (cc)
al stewart-between the wars (cc)
al stewart-indian summer (cc) (i have a copy copied from the library, but still)
jesse winchester-nothing but a breeze
jesse winchester-3rd down 110 to go
jesse winchester-let the rough side drag
jesse winchester-touch on the rainy side
kenny rodgers-we've got tonight (i know, i know)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Year in Van

ok. so i couldn't figure out how many cds van has sold over his career vs how many al stewart has sold. although al stewart probably had more top forty hits (at least 2 top tens). not that that means anything.

i tallied up my van work. in the time i've been doing this, i've bought and flipped 74 van albums*. only once did i not turn a profit, and that was because the cd got lost in the mail. foolish me for not doing delivery confirmation (and it was a remastered poetics, so even more fool me). My biggest profit was $38 and 45 of the sales made a $10 or more profit (10 of the sales were for a profit of more than $20). i won't blather on about titles, i can email you the list if you are interested, in case you want to cash in (doesn't bother me). At this point, there are basically 5 left that are reliably out of print. Why i keep finding them, i don't really know. i rarely sit on them for any amount of time before they flip. my cost on those 74 sales was 617.55. profit to me was 926.10. so i more than doubled my money. not bad.

For 2011 along, i had 23 van sales. cost to me was 182.02 and profit was 380.26. only 6 of the sales were for more than $20 profit, which is a bit of a surprise. i would have thought van was a bigger chunk of my overall profit. the standard 5 titles, either in polydor or mercury, with the exception of saint, which is ONLY polydor (period is also good, but i've only seen that once).

*This count is not including them cds, which adds eight more to the count, all the "them featuring van morrison" disc and all making me between $8 and $10 profit.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!

worst show of the year:

fleet foxes.

even if the sound would have been better, they were a bunch of a-holes. "this is art, worship us. or at least smear us in adulation and praise us every 5 minutes" suburban white parenting gone so very very wrong. blech.

1st runners up:
gang of four

i waited so long to be so bored. and nobody needed to see that belly. NO BODY!

Friday, December 9, 2011


nice friday surprise

prolly too soon to hope for a new album in 2012, but one can hope.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

They Couldn't Just Hand Out Cash?


of course they are ONLY giving out credits which we would have to use on future ticket purchases. what do you want to bet its one credit per transaction and there's this extra $5 charge to "apply settlement credit to transaction"

occupy ticketmaster!!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Can I Get a Show of Hands?

Does anybody really care about the grammys?

Grammy comments (questions mostly).

1. how is bon iver best new artist?
2. how can fleet foxes be in the best folk category?
3. why on earth do they have song AND record of the year when it's pretty much the same songs?
4. foo fighters for best album? really? is this a lifetime (blandness) achievement award?
5. weren't mumford and sons popular back in 2009? (and Little Lion Man was a way better record/song/song/record than "The Cave")
6. it's really sad that 21 is the best album nominated in that category. it's not even on my top ten anymore.
7. pop performance for "Firework". the song is catchy, but she's flat even with autotune.
8. if they are looking to get rid of categories, how about best pop duo/group?
9. or best pop vocal album (cats in heat sing better than three of the nominees)
10. did i see some love for cut copy? (hooray!) but how about m83?
11. seth mcfarlane? really? sheesh.
12. coldplay? rock? not so much.
13. seriously, do they decide of 5 "rock" acts and just repeat them in every category. cripes.
14. not a single alternative rock nominee will be in my top 10 (or even top 20) besides, i thought foster the people were pop, how can they be alternative?
15. if R. Kelly gets a nomination, can we expect jerry sanduskey to get a spoken word nomination in 5 years?
16. El Debarge, R. Kelly and Chris Brown. man, their PR people deserve a raise
17. Rap/Sung collaboration? isn't that just rap?
18. Has there ever been such a polarizing figure as Kanye? Love his stuff (but dude...edit a little) but can not stand his public persona.
19. I really don't know rap at all, cos those album nominees look good to me.
20. i have no comment on the country nominations, although taylor swift makes a great britney spears.
21. i've mentioned how my dream ambition is to win a grammy for best liner notes, right (best album notes)
22. there should be a best reissue grammy.
23. ok. too many categories to go through. i'm done for now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Road Not Taken

It wasn't a completely crazy idea. He was on a major roll back in 1978. Everything he touched turned to gold. And we really really loved his stuff and thought it would be cool if he was the first to break through the ceiling. Also, we thought he deserved better than what he was getting in the press. And granted, he already had a ton of people doing the job (actually authorized to do the job) but what harm could a little grass roots action do? And lets face it, we were bored (i'm pretty sure the first discussions happened in 6th hour study hall, although it could have just as easily been 5th hour English)

So one of my best friends and I decided we were going to be (non-paid, non-cocaine user) A&R people for Barry Manilow. We were determined to make "Leaving in the Morning" off the EVEN NOW album become a hit, and give Barry Manilow a 5th hit single off an album, something that up to that point, had never been done (at least in our Casey Kasem'ed experience....I'm sure the Beatles had frequently achieved that feat, but those were the OLDEN days, we were talking the modern 1978 era!)

Now you really have to cast your memory back to the time (and shed your aversion to all things Barry Manilow....i promise you this doesn't require you to listen to or like his music....and you definitely need to shed your image of the botoxed, facelifted, vaseline on the camera, this can't actually be his face Manilow that you have now....this is the 1978, very famous, almost verging on super stardom, tv specialed, regular top fortied, dude is kind of average looking and is unlikely to get any better looking, and what is with the long hair, but hey he puts on a great concert Manilow) and remember a time when you'd hear hit after hit from Mr. Manilow, "Can't Smile Without You," "Copacabana," (i dare you to hate that song), "Even Now," (which debuted in the top forty at #19...i was completely stunned, because i hadn't even heard it on the radio up until Casey said "And this week's highest debuting song is "Even Now"....although "Copacabana became a run away hit and left "Even Now" essentially DOA on the charts), and (later) "Somewhere in the Night". There was even a movie soundtrack in there, with "Ready to Take a Chance Again".

His run of hits was unprecedented (again, we didn't have a ton of history to draw on, just America's Top Forty from grade 5 to grade 8). Hell, we thought, anything off that album could be a hit. So to cement his claim as the greatest act of the 70's we decided to make him another hit and keep the ball rolling. But even at this point, there were plenty of options left.

"Sunrise" (one of my favorites) had already been a b-side. "A Linda Song" was just a little too schmaltzy for me (and i couldn't hear the song without hearing a skip that was on my vinyl, i still hear an imaginary skip at the same place when i listen to the song on cd) although that linda song was a favorite of my friend. "Losing Touch" and "Starting Again" were pleasant album filler, but we both felt they were just too slight to be accorded the 5th hit single off a multiple platinum album status. So we were down to "Where Do We Go From Here," "I Was a Fool (To Let You Go)," and "Leavin' in the Morning". (I have no idea why we never talked about "I Just Want to be the One in Your Life." It was quite frankly, the most Manilow-esque of the ballads on that album. Perhaps there was some b-side action back then that I can't remember now. Or perhaps we were trying to avoid being obvious and give those damn critics even MOR ammunition against our hero.

"I Was a Fool" was quickly tossed out. We both loved it (need i say that we both pretty much loved everything on that album?) but felt it was too unusual for radio (see how A&R Promotions we were, using our collected radio listening acumen to de-select for listeners?) and even more so, new that we would be alienating the Manilow fandom with this bluesey done me wrong song. "Where Do We Go From Here" sounded like a hit, but it also sounded a lot like "Somewhere in the Night" (please refrain from comments about how similar all Manilow hits are, I already hear your snarky remark, also, please refrain from fronting on the dancefloor) so we didn't like the odds of following up SitN with WDWGfH. So that left one last option, "Leavin' in the Morning" and I'm not kidding when I say that was our preferred song anyway.

I promised you didn't need to listen to Manilow or even care about the songs in order to read (enjoy?) this, and i'm not stepping back on that. But I feel like i have to say a little bit about the song. You can feel free to jump ahead to the next graph if you have to. I will understand. First off, this song starts with electric guitar. ELECTRIC GUITAR! On a Manilow song. in fact, that little guitar riff (or hook if you'd prefer) is the backbone of the song. So yeah, this song rocks! (rocks as much as Manilow could ever rock, which is just a little less than Sheryl Crow rocks) Then the versus kick in with a nice little melody, and even better is the catchy chorus with a cool key change (at least i think there is, my music theory isn't the strongest) Then there is a fantastic bridge (starting with the "I waited too long") in the song (nothing like a little C to break up the verse chorus verse) Then we come to the big crescendo (more key changes) before we repeat chorus and fade. Pure Pop Perfections (for power people and bored 8th graders too).

With song selected, we made our plans to make it a hit. After some fantasies about unlimited budget and unrealistic objectives (i think there was travel involved and i vaguely remember discussions about creating our own vinyl single of the song (backed with the disco version of Copacabana), we settled on a carpet bombing local radio stations with song requests approach. We figured once people heard the song once or twice, the telephone lines would light up with requests for the song, and of course, the djs would love the tune and slap themselves on the forehead and think, "How could we not have noticed this song before! Oh what fools we are to have missed this hit! And how genius are these two kids from Colfax to promote this undiscovered gem!" Clearly, in our minds this approach was destined for success. Skyrocketing success! We would probably end up a little story on America's Top Forty and Casey would be talking about us!

Our first target was the local Menomonie radio station (WMEQ, 93 something on the FM dial). Neither of us particularly listened to that station (unless by default) because we both preferred the Eau Claire stations. My friend was into WBIZ-Z100 (which would NEVER in a hundred years play Manilow), and i had moved on from the AM 830 WEAU station, to its FM counterpart, I-94 (I forget the call letters) but Eau Claire was long distance and there was no way my mom was signing off on that promotions budget (although i once won a contest by calling into an Eau Claire radio station contest---i think it was tickets to the roller skating arena--- and she didn't complain about that) but I wasn't trying my luck. And even though my friend was the doctor's son, I don't think he was any more interested in trying to rationalize to his mom why he need to call long distance to an Eau Claire radio station. Menomonie was local and free, plus they took requests (Z-100 was practically an automated radio station, they barely had DJs much less took requests). So, so what if we didn't always (rarely) listen. Plus we did know that they played Manilow so how hard could it be to get them to play the greatest unheard song off the album.

We decided my friend would hit up the radio station the first night. He would call and i would listen (just in case he got his request taken live on the air) We settled on 7pm for his call, so i could be sure to be done with my farm chores (and also, i could listen in the barn, unimpeded (undistracted) by my nosy brothers and sisters). I'm sure my dad wondered what the hell i was doing hanging around in the barn after the cows were milked and all the chores were done (my brother and i usually were bat out of hell out of there once the work was done), but i just said i just wanted to listen to the radio and he just nodded and told me to turn off the lights and shut the door when i was done (i think he's already long since given up trying to understand me, or maybe he understood me perfectly). And with that i sat and listened to the radio and waited for our song to be played. And I waited. and waited. Then by 8pm, i started to wonder what was going on (also, i was getting hungry for my evening snack....we ate supper before we'd go out to do the evening milking). I picked up the barn phone (yes, we had a phone in the barn....high class living I tell ya) to call my friend, but of course someone was on the line. So I just turned out the lights, shut the door (I was always very responsible) and headed for the house (i'm sure i had a bowl of ice cream for the evening snack)

Next day at school, i caught up with my friend before first hour. He had a terrible time trying to get in on the request line he said. It was either busy or the phone just rang and rang with no one picking it up (in retrospect, i just figure the DJ was out having a smoke). Finally, he got through and requested "Leavin' in the Morning". However, the DJ was recalcitrant (or as we thought it then, stupid). "Do you mean 'Copacabana'," he asked my friend. "Or 'Can't Smile Without You'?" When my friend said no, we wanted a track off the Even Now album, he was utterly uninterested. "Can't play it if it isn't a single" he basically said and hung up the phone (not unkindly it should be noted). Well....that was an entirely new kettle of fish for us. We determined to brainstorm through this new set of information independently and reconvene at 6th hour study hall with solutions (ahhh....i can see you being all Olympics of the Mind and problem solving practice here, and i can't deny it, music was the fulcrum upon which all my education was levered).

Unfortunately, by the time 6th hour came around, we were still stymied. I had one pitiful idea that we thought had a little potential so for lack of something better we decided to go with that approach. I would make the call at 7pm and see if I had better luck. Same story as the previous evening, with my dad giving me a funny smile as he headed up to the house. 7pm and i nervously dial the numbers (thankfully, nobody was using the phone, although with a party line you could never be sure who might be listening in, just for shits and giggles. It took forever to dial those damn numbers on the rotary phone. i swear to god the wheel was particularly slow that evening (and it could be true because it was cold and the humidity from all the cows in the barn would gum up the phone sometimes. Finally, number is dialed and the lines are click clacking and it's ringing at the radio station. Ring one, ring two, ring three, "WMEQ radio," came the voice. I froze. I didn't know how to respond. Oh why oh why did i not write a script. by now i knew well the occasional stage fright, brain lock i could get, and here i was, starting my new career, and i couldn't get a whimper out. sheesh. "WMEA Radio," he said again, "Can i help you?" Nothing from me but sheer panic. I hung up.

Ok, Ok, I told myself, calm down. (keep calm and carry on if it was 30+ years later) I walked the barn walk, up and down, up and down (the barn walk was the slab of concrete that ran from one end of the barn to the other. the cows, at least the back ends of them, lined the walk) After a couple circuits I was ready to try again. Dial, Dial, Dial....Ring, Ring, Ring...."WMEQ radio" I manned up.
"I'd like to request a song please," i said, hoping a cow wouldn't suddenly moo (and keeping in mind that all dialogue is paraphrased, it's not like i was taking notes, although the events are pretty firmly burnished in my memory).

"What song would you like", the DJ asked.

"Could you play Barry Manilow's "Leavin' in the Morning?," I asked. "It's from his Even Now album."

"Say, aren't you the kid who asked me to play that song last night," he said. (Oh shit, we hadn't counted on the DJ REMEMBERING!)

"No," I said, in all honesty, "I've never called in a request before. Could you play the song please?"

"It's not on my playlist," he said. "Are you sure you didn't call in last night?"

"Yes, i'm sure." Completely honest me. "I dunno if it's on your playlist, but i did hear it on I-94 a couple nights ago and was just wondering if i could hear it again." Dishonest me and my big brainstorm of the day. (when you are stuck for a solution, just lie, but hey, how much more promo man could i possibly be?)

"I don't know what they are playing, or why you want to hear it, but it's not on our playlist so i can't play it."

"ah, ok," i went, hoping maybe my glumness will somehow get me a song played. However, the DJ was once again unmoved (unfeeling bastard) and he hung up the phone, disappointed. I thought about calling my friend and letting him know how it went, but i was bummed and figured he could listen to the radio for an hour, unfulfilled just like i had the previous night (way to take it out on a friend).

Next morning I shared the recap (like television without pity, but without the snark). "Do you think we should maybe just try Eau Claire stations," my friend asked. "I can ask my mom if I can call long distance to request a song." He was such a gamer, I admired him, even if I thought it was useless. "Nah," i said, if they won't play it in Menomonie, they aren't going to play it in Eau Claire. I don't think this is going to work. If it was on a playlist, maybe, but they just aren't going to play anything off an album."

And off to class we went. 6th hour was kinda slow that day. Maybe slow the rest of that week, but i'm sure it was back to normal by the middle of the next week and we'd moved on to something new, forgetting all about our short careers as promo people. Funny thing is, Manilow could have used us. Oh sure, he had another top ten hit with "Ships" but that was pretty much it after that. Oh what a difference it would have made if he had pulled 5 top forty hits off that Even Now album.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ticket Heaven

Seriously, why can't i take a straight picture? Here ya go, minus a few recent-ish items that i either haven't gotten around to sticking in here or that i never got a ticket--effing will call arm bands crap. and unfortunately, there are more than a few that will never make it on here (billy joel in 85, midnight oil in 88, even that first national show at the 400 where we were so packed in the i had to hold my Pabst above the crowd) but at least my grant and robert show is represented. and three of my most favorite recent shows (spoon, passion pit and that unforgettable insanely sweaty Phoenix show at the varsity). can't tell you all how much fun it is to go to shows with you all, but rest assured, i enjoy every minute of it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Woke up this morning (got yourself a gun) with Noah and the Whale's L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. running around in my head (no worries, songs running through my head when i get up is a common occurrence and i did see NatW last week) But it got me thinking about spell songs. Are they songs with acronyms in the title or just initialism, i.e., spelling out a word as the title of the song (and reciting the letters in the song? Dunno, don't have any rules set up about what makes or doesn't make this list.

Who the heck thought it was clever to spell out a title in the song? Who was the first artist who had a hit with this method? In the age of spell check/atroashius speeleng (i'll just get it close and the computer will take care of it) is the spell song doomed to extinction? (thank you Noah!)

I might need a little help to fill out the list, but at least i can get you started.

ABC-Jackson (gotta start with the basics, right?)
YMCA-(technically no more a word than ABC, but if i'm including one, i have to include the other)
D-I-V-O-R-C-E-(can't stand this song, but still)
GLORIA (could go either way on this one)
U.N.I.T.Y-Queen Latifah (btw, check out that Q)
F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E.-Pulp (damn thats a long title, and was this even a hit? ooh wait, i just got to the chorus...N.E.V.E.R.M.I.N.D.)
T-R-O-U-B-L-E-travis tritt (apparently country don't believe in periods)
F.I.N.E.-Aerosmith (meh)
D.A.N.C.E.-Justice (love that intro, however, no DVNO cos that doesn't mean anything)
The W.A.N.D.-Flaming Lips (i could pull this off the list and not feel bad about it. Flaming Lips definitely go in that category of bands that have exceeded their shelf life)
P.Y.T.-Michael Jackson (so wrong. so very very wrong)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I’d Give It All Back Just To Do It Again

Noah and the Whale
First Avenue
November 14, 2011

I’m sorry.

I was really hoping it would be awful so I could say you didn’t miss a thing. Or at least that it would be good, but not great so that I could just write up a non-committal indifferent review and we could avoid another arcade fire situation.

And I could quibble. There was quite a bit of seizure inducing strobe lighting, and (even worse) spotlights on the crowd (c’mon man, we prefer to stay under our rocks during the show) for which I think I still have a squint (I blame my blue eyes). And there was a slow spot in the middle of the show, termed the “romantic” portion of the show where I could have fallen asleep on my feet for a song or three. And I did leave before the encore because my back was killing me (although I could hear the crowd cheering for an encore all the way to the parking ramp).

But despite my best efforts at diversion and misdiretion, I just can’t do it. Beyond the unfairness to the band and the essential dishonesty, there’s just one little thing keeping me from being a good friend by making you feel better about missing the show.

The band was GREAT. Frightened Rabbit great. Fanfarlo great.

The band was super tight and lots of fun. Kind of too cool for school in a very 80’s sort of way, but they couldn't help themselves with their enjoyment. This was definitely a case of a band exceeding the (already really good) recorded performances. The arrangements were essentially the same, but the enthusiasm and energy put into the performance, and the very subtle emphasis on certain aspects of the instrumentation made a ton of difference. I particularly dug the violin (which is buried on the records), and the piano ( which was up in the mix on Blue Skies).

Charlie was a great front man, suited up (as was most of the band and even the sound guy) but willing to sweat it up a bit. I was frankly surprised by how appealing he was on stage. He seemed a little stiff and monotone at first, but I suppose that was just a pose (along with multiple other poses he displayed) because as the show progressed he really limbered up vocally and physically (especially once he shed the suitcoat) and danced up a storm. And like the FR show at Varsity, this was a crowd of true believers. Maybe a little on the sparse side (no fears of my claustrophobia to kick in…ok…I’m kidding, it’s really just my aversion to hair tossers and tall dudes who stand right in front of me) but a very enthusiastic crowd who definitely egged on the band with their cheers and applause. I wouldn’t have thought for a second that the Noah and the Whale show would almost get me to dance, sing and clap my hands above my head. But there you have it. (not that I was apt to join the hair dancers over by the 7th street entry entry.

The song selection was excellent. They played Last Night on Earth primarily with just a few (best) nods to Peaceful and Spring. Highlights for me were “Give It All Back” (my favorite from the new one), a surprisingly muscular “5 Years” (no trace of twee in this version), “Rocks and Daggers” (the violin really added texture here), and of course the main set closer, “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” Perhaps surprisingly though, the highlight of the show for me was a pair from Spring; “Love of an Orchestra” paired with “Blue Skies.” I LITERALLY got goose bumps. Lovely and joyous. Which I guess would pretty much sum up the show for me.

I predict we’ll see them (again and maybe again) before 5 year’s time.

(This review was created in Calibri type face although I’m not sure how much control I have over publishing fonts)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Legend Lives On

Gordon Lightfoot
September 17, 2011
State Theatre

The anniversary of the wreck of the edmund fitzgerald was last thursday. I can't think about that tragedy without Gordy's song playing in the back of my mind. It's amazing how intertwined those two items have become (and i was very aware of the wreck happening at the time). And despite how many times I have heard the song, it still draws me in and gives me chills. I suppose the number of people who only know about and have sympathy for the event from the song is uncountable, but huge. Thanks to this song, I suspect those poor souls in the wreck will never be forgotten as long as music is played. That is really an amazing accomplishment for a musician.

And it's not like that was the only great song Mr. Lightfoot produced. I've got a strong supply of Lightfoot tunes on the mental ipod that i can retrieve at a moment's notice. And he has one of the single greatest folk singer names of all time. So of course, I was excited to see Gordy at the State Theatre when the Hennepin Theatre Trust folks offered up some tickets as a make good for the awful sound at the Fleet Foxes show. Kudos to the Hennepin Theatre Trust for providing the tickets. I really enjoyed the show.

Yes, there are some caveats, but everyone knows that going into the show. He's 72, he's suffered some pretty severe health concerns (AAA and a stroke) so he seems really frail and every time he'd pause and lean over to catch his breath i was worried for him. His voice is mostly shot, the upper range is completely gone and even the middle notes that he still has don't have a lot behind them. And he doesn't EXACTLY look like the handsome man i had a crush on back in my "formative" years.

But whatever, the man is still at consummate professional. And his band knows how to do a sound check. No sound problems here and the band was perfectly complementary. Even though I was sorta worried he might not make it through the show (i bet that's how he wants to go out anyway) i never for a minute did not enjoy the show (well, except for the idiots in front of us who talked through the entire show).

And yes, i got chills during "The Wreck", and i loved hearing "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Carefree Highway" (it was also fun to watch Shawn's face light up when he'd recognize songs), and i was really impressed that he did the "Canadian Railroad Trilogy." But i think my very favorite performance of the evening was "Painter Passing Through". Never had really noted it before and now it's #1 on the mental playlist.

Right Down the Line

Weird thing happened the other day. I had just gotten my remastered Baker Street in the mail and was driving around giving it a listen.

The remastering sounds fantastic with all kinds of details in the production i had never noticed before. And they added the "Big Change in the Weather" b-side to the album proper. And even more, they added a bonus disc of demos. Delightful and i'm really enjoying it. Thanks Mitch, for the heads up on this one.

But back to my weird thing. "Right Down the Line" was just finishing up as i drove up to the gas station (3.39 i think, about damn time prices went down!). Turned off the car, stepped out and what was playing? Would you believe the end of "Right Down the Line?" What are the odds? Although i suppose that song is playing somewhere all the time (and i never get tired of it, or "Baker Street").

You sure done good, Mr. Rafferty. I hope you rest in peace.

Sheena of the Jungle

My good sales week continues.

The $5 Sheena (You Could Have Been With Me) flipped. only $27, but that's market and i'm fine with that. it's not like it was the One Way version. and I did just sell the One Way Private Heaven that I bought (and overpaid for) on EBAY. Keep your eyes out for the first five sheena cds. either edition is golden (but share em with me before you sell em)

Also sold Nick Lowe's Rose of England. Paid a bit too much for this one ($20) too (not that i expect Half Price books to have deals) but still made $20+ on it. So that's a keeper too.

i'm nearing 2200 profit for the year, although i have a bunch of dead weight listings (yes, i'm talking to you collective soul!) that i need to unload at cheapo before the end of the year. so that will cut into profits. Bring on the holidays!!! Daddy wants to break even.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lights OUT!

Sold Peter Wolf's "Lights Out" cd this evening. Picked it up in new york for 4.99. sold it for $180. $140 profit after all the damage is extracted. not bad. third best sale of all time (rilo kiley earlier this year, and the MSFL year of the cat last year still rank higher). Too bad i didn't have this sale in my pocket for last friday's juniper annual report, but still...this was a good one.

i think my NYC trip was kinda like Vegas. or at least i broke even.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

Zoey and Ben split up.
It's such a shame those crazy kids couldn't make their marriage work.
Could it be that she was just too adorkable?
Or was it M. Ward that came between them?

Likely, we'll never know.

Here's hoping Rachel and Daniel can prove out that incorruptible institution.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So That's What All The Fuss Is About

Rock the Garden
(Rain and Shine at the Walker)
June 18, 2011

Got to the show a little late; we could hear tapes n tapes rocking out whilst we were going through security. And the effing pat down Nazis insisted on confiscating the twizzlers (bastards!) but hello! My first Rock the Garden!!! (thanks shawn for picking up the tix—way to go with the MPR membership) Sloggy fun. Raining and dreary (and humid as heck) for the start but be damned if I’m going to wear a rain slicker.

Tapes n Tapes:
what I heard was great and I really liked the outside songs. Guess i should have been checking these guys out live earlier. Sure hope they don’t give up.

Booker T:
Only sorta listened because we went to grab a bite to eat. Not really my thing, but the crowd loved them little green onions. I preferred sweet onions. That Vincent burger was soooooo good. And the eye candy was fantastic.

oh man. this was a huge disappointment. I loved her (and praised her to the skies) at the state show. at RTG though….her song selection left much to be desired, her heart didn’t really seem in it, and the between song patter (way too much and I actually had a hard time hearing it and understanding it) was severely disjointed (or maybe just overly jointed) show never really had any momentum and it sure seemed to go on forever. But it did look like neko was enjoying herself.

And with that, we promptly retired to the top of the hill for the headliner (and as the sun went down, the sky cleared up and we were treated to a glorious evening.

My Morning Jacket:
Ah, so this is what a spectacle rock show is all about. I stand corrected. And can I just say that (even in abbreviated festival form-and gotta shut down by 10) MMJ is incredible! I am of the opinion that Circuital and Evil Urges were disappointments (not that i didn't mind them experimenting with their sound, Z is my second fav MMJ. But whatever, cos everything sounded fantastic live. They started out with the one two punch from Circuital, "Victory Dance" and "Circuital" and they didn't let up, running through tons of the new disc (and a lot of Z, with just a little bit else thrown in, sorry on that lack of Evil Urges dude). Thought it was interesting that in addition to the album/show opening pairing, they also played "Wonderful" and "Outta My System" back to back.
And the playing? Wow. They really are a festival band. we were up on the hill and i felt like they were playing right in front of me (I can't imagine being right in front). Intense, Epic, Jammy (but the solos felt just right and never had me looking at my watch), Yim was awesomely in good voice, and just weirdly affected enough to be wildly entertaining.
Highlights for me: of course, "Golden" and the show closer "One Big Holiday", "Gideon" and "I'm Amazed" both gave me goosebumps and (SHOCK!) i even dug "Touch Me" (first time probably for that song...and it was totally the live treatment on top of an excellent show, i'm sure) Little quibble that i would have loved to hear "The Bear" but whatevs. Definitely gonna have to see these guys again. And i might have to rock the garden again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This NEVER Happens

Okkervil River
First Avenue
June 12, 2011

ok. i can count the number of shows i had tickets for, but did not attend, on one hand. on one finger. it was the infamous Ryan Adams meltdown show at first ave. (for reasons of which we need not go into, but at least Al and his brother used the tickets, so they got to be witness, and i'm completely glad i didn't have to be)

now you can add one more finger. i had a bug. i was throwing up about 10 minutes before Paul showed up. i just couldn't make it. he came all the way from Amsterdam and i left him high and dry (not that he came all the way to see Okkervil River---or me for that matter). Apologies and i'll make it up (both to Paul and Okkervil River)

I suppose i can't put the ticket on my ticket collage, can i?

Half of the Time We're Gone But We Don't Know Where

Paul Simon
First Avenue
May 3, 2011

Paul Simon at first avenue. Paul FREAKING Simon at first ave. Delighted was I. Ok, so i'd seen simon and garfunkel at the excel center (yes, i know this is kind of against my law, but exceptions can be made for legacies) but there's a huge difference between simon and garfunkel and paul simon. (case not to be made here, but perhaps at a later date, suffice it to say, one can rip garfunkel's breathy choir vocals all one wants, but he added an unmistakable identity to the duo). and then you throw in first avenue (and cheap tickets for that matter) and you can pretty much guarantee i'll be arm banding up. Even shawn was (relatively) interested in this one.

Where to begin?
Well, for starters, we snagged the wall, right at the bottom of the ramp. So we avoided getting our shins scrapped by all the walkers (and i aint talking AMC here) and didn't have to peer over any humps. No opening act either (dunno what it is, but this year has had some of the dreadest opening acts that i can remember...whatever happened to the black angels opening for waterboys? nowadays it seems everyone with a couple songs on bandcamp think they have to be a headliner and we are stuck with opening acts that formed 3 weeks ago and have their debut ep coming out in a month)

The band was rocking. (although rocking chair might be appropriate too) They came out of the gate fired up and ready to play. That paul simon must be one hell of a pre game coach cos if his band can play their ten thousandth version of "Boy in the Bubble" with that much fire and enthusiasm (hell, i'd almost pay $15 just to see the guitarist/multi instrumentalist Mark Stewart mug his way through the show) he must be doing something right.

The new songs are great live. I've been a little (Hah!) underwhelmed with the last two simon discs, but So Beautiful or So What sure is good and those songs sounded amazing live. Paul's singing was the most assured and flawless on these songs (maybe no surprise here as he's writing for his current voice and tone) but "rewrite," "so beautiful or so what," and (especially) "getting ready for christmas day" sounded great and not for a second was i preferring some missed classic in their place. when you consider his canon, that is high praise.

The setlist was superb. A sprinkling of new songs and some choice cuts from his entire career (with a couple S&G diamonds for the souls thrown in). "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", "Slip Sliding Away" (with an interesting arrangement), "Kodachrome" and "Hearts and Bones" were just a few of the gems.
He even pulled out a number of covers; George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" was particularly lovely, but i appreciated the nods to Jimmy Cliff and Elvis too.

His voice held up pretty well considering he was almost 70. There were a few wobbles ("Only Living Boy in New York" unfortunately) and he was nowhere near in as fine a voice as he was during that X show) but i didn't mind. Clearly, he was a little more challenged on the older songs written with for his 30 year old voice than he was on the newer songs. And considering that, it was pretty remarkable that he had as much energy as he did for the length of the two hour show (with two encores). (although he did seem pretty damn tired by the end!)

Single best highlight of the show was when he came out solo for the first encore. We were treated to an amazing rendition of "The Sounds of Silence". I got goosebumps (watch here, thanks Rhi) I got goosebumps just watching it again. What a wonderful, wonderful, songferful show.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Long Hair Don't Care

Triple Rock Social Club
October 6, 2011

Ok. They are better on disc than live. And the sound mix was really bad for the first couple of songs (what do bands think sound checks are for?) And if they played for 45 minutes from start to finish, i'll be surprised (would a cover have killed them?). And the guys in the band are kinda sorry looking (but i'm biased against long haired guys, so that could just be me).

But whatever, because as soon as the lights went down and the band came on stage, I only had eyes for Madeline (well, other than the drunk chick in front of us, but only because i didn't want to be a wall pancake). I can't really quantify what she did (Madeline, not the drunk chick) that so enamored me of her. In fact, you could easily make the argument that the performance was maybe only serviceable with the band sorta bored, Madeline's vocals all over the place (and the guitarists barely above hearing threshold) and although she has a lot of presence packed into her tiny frame, the band as a whole kinda didn't.... But in Madeline...i was rapt.

In retrospect, i kinda think it was the crowd. They had the religion and they just poured it out. Every song (and pretty much every song on their debut EP is great), it was Love, Love, Love. The band felt it, Madeline sent it back out (the rest of the long hairs really didn't care) and the crowd amplified the love and hit transmit. In retrospect, i can't say whether it was justified or not, but it was sure there when i was there. Something perhaps indefinable, but something special and a shared experience greater than the sum of its individual parts. I guess that's the appeal of cults and that Cults performance certainly qualified.

Reconsidering Adele

So sue me.

Its not like i had anything personal against her. Just avoided Adele's music more than anything else. Granted, the woe is me, i got done wrong isn't exactly my wheelhouse. i'm more a yank on the bootstraps (or something), get over it (with plenty of deep seated avoidance) so spewing it all over the place.....distasteful. But, I'd heard 19 a few times, heard "Chasing Pavements" a few more times than that and with 21, gave it a listen or two and just didn't need to hear it again. Plus she has become ubiquitous, which is reason enough (Don't believe the hype) to blank somebody (although of course, she immediately went into the MHD, just in case). Also if you can seriously believe this, "Rolling in the Deep" didn't do anything for me. Good for her but end of story.

Except, Shawn kinda liked her (obviously KS95 played the heck out of her) and thought she had a great voice. So I made him a copy and we listened to it a few times and debating going to her concert (although that didn't happen for whatever reason). So either listening through his ears (oddly enough he's over her now), hearing to the rest of the album tracks as opposed to "Rolling" for the 300th time, or maybe just listening to 21 out of sequence and in small car bites from August to now (i listened to the full album in the car yesterday driving up to the cabin) i've grown to appreciate it. In fact i really like it. And it could be a contender.

She does have a great voice and knows how to use it. There are some great songs on the album (if you assume side one has 5 tracks and side 2 six songs, it's the first 3 songs on each side that are the best tracks on the disc. I'm pretty sure I like the 3 songs on side two (He Won't Go, Take It All and I'll Be Waiting) better than the singles (the first three tracks: Rolling, Deep, Tables) In fact, i think "I'll Be Waiting" is my favorite song on the album. It was random play that shed all the production and angst fatigue that had pushed this track deep into the background during those first coast to coast listens. Funny, how you pull some of the songs out of context (5, 6, and 7 especially) and they shine all the more (maybe she needs to reconsider the producer and her songwriting themes for album 3).

Even on scrub songs, where the songwriting is a bit rote and production gets a couple extra layers of frosting to make up for the flat cake (this is pretty much everything but songs 1-3, and 6-8), her presentation transcends the pedestrian effort. Her voice is an amazing instrument, power and finesse, swoops and sobs, a whisper just as powerful and a full throated roar. And on the last few songs on side 2, she has a Bonnie Raitt quality to her timbre and phrasing that i really like (even if I'll pretty much skip the songs after I'll Be Waiting.)

So yes, i was wrong. I should have given it a chance back in January. But still, isn't it fashionable to be late to the party?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rocket List

The bad thing with most of these bucket list shows is that i'd have to go to big venues to see them. and therein lies the rub. ya go. comment away with blindspots and smirks.

Barry Manilow (whatever. It’s not like you don’t have a few rubber rings in there too)
Van Morrison
Rickie Lee Jones (although I’m deathly afraid to go to one of her shows)
Donnie Iris (might have to roadtrip to Ohio sometime to see him)
Wilco (although it's not like i tried for Orpheum tickets)
Gary Numan (i don't care what mitch says, i'd see him if he came around)
Stevie Wonder
Marshall Crenshaw
Fleetwood Mac/Lindsey Buckingham (only reason i didn't hit pantages is cos it was a school weekend and we were going to see Gordy the following night)
John Cale/Lou Reed
Al Stewart (I think I missed him at the Dakota this summer. Stupid)
Eurythmics/Annie Lennox
Prefab Sprout (unlikely, but still)
B.B. King (I should see, right?)
Morrissey (this is not the same as the smith’s reunion Coachella show next year, or the next year)
David Bowie (really? I know…what’s the point, but he’s always been on the list)
James Taylor
Prince (how can I never have seen prince?)
Paul Westerberg (how can I never have seen the replacements?)
Bob Dylan (I’d hate it, but I should go)
U2 (and yet, did I get tickets to TCF? No)
Pet Shop Boys
Joni Mitchell
Ray Davies/Kinks
Bryan Ferry
Loretta Lynn (does she even do shows anymore?)
Elton John (do i? Don’t i? I feel this is like Dylan where I should see him at least once)
XTC (ha, broken up and even before that Andy Partridge had such stage fright that he refused to tour)

Former bucket listers:
R.E.M. (it only took me 20 years)
Simon and Garfunkel/Paul Simon
Go-Betweens (well at least Grant and Robert which was precious as perfect summer)
Gang of Four (much less in retrospect)
Gordon Lightfoot (yay!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Drive, Baby, Drive

I feel that I can unequivocally make an early choice for my year end list.

Best soundtrack of the year: DRIVE

not only is the movie killer (thanks for the recommendation) but the soundtrack is some kind of brilliant. cool, moody, pulsing 80's synths that are somewhere between blade runner and missing persons that perfectly embody the kid. of course, it doesn't appear to come out until this tuesday. ARGGGHHHHHHHH. i need it NOW.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

one more

yellow ostrich-the mistress. i'd like it a little more if i hadn't already listened to tuneyards too much (and with not enough return). i bet the kids dig it.

Lucky Thirteen (and then some)

is it the end of the drought, or is it just a temporary oasis? dunno, but next week is a big one.

Nick Lowe
Laura Marling
Neon Indian
St. Vincent
Mates of State
Blitzen Trapper

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

PB&J Take Two

set list from Madison. pretty similar i think.

Tomorrow Has to Wait
It Don't Move Me
Let's Call It Off
(I Just Wanna) See Through
Dig a Little Deeper
Breaker Breaker
Objects of My Affection
I Know You Don't Love Me
Young Folks
Second Chance
Down Like Me

Nothing to Worry About
It Beats Me Every Time
Lay it Down

Sunday, September 4, 2011

CD Walkabout

picked up some interesting music during my rambles last week (ppl was $10, everything else was $8 or under):

squeeze-uk squeeze (remastered with 2 bonus nice to find this a couple weeks after i found the regular edition...sigh)
joan armatrading-to the limit (be interesting to see if this flips)
al stewart-beach full of shells
queen-first album (2 cd remaster)
have a nice day volume 23 (picked it up for $5, already sold it for $45)
paul mccartney-give my regards to broad street
andy gibb-greatest
icehouse-man of colors (shockingly this hasn't sold yet)
orleans-still the one (kind of a dud pick up, but meh)
kinks-think visual (i should have gotten the arthur remaster and the japan phobia discs as well)
pure prairie league-two lane highway
nick lowe-nick the knife (this was 2.95!!!)
tycoon-opportunity knocks
village people-cruisin'
village people-in the street

Objects of My Affection

Peter Bjorn and John
First Avenue
August 25, 2011

ooh, this is almost rarefied air these days; this being my third PB&G show in as many albums. i must like them or something. course, what isn't to like. they write brilliant pop songs (especially when they keep the beat up and the running time to under three minutes), are very engaging performers (if not a little on the ironic rock star poses...although i think they might be a little more sincere these days), John is a dream boat (and a killer drummer) they are touring behind what i think is their best album and those swedish accents.....i'd swoon if i was able.

the one two punch of young folks and second chance was the highlight of the show for me (those drum snaps from YF into Second Chance....wowsa). but pretty much any Gimme Some song was great (and they played almost all of that) Dig a Little Deeper and Breaker, Breaker were crowd pleasers of course, and although i like their peppy songs more, May Seems Macabre and show opener Tomorrow Has to Wait were pretty awesome too. Living Thing got pretty much ignored, and even Writer's Block got short shrift this time out, but that's ok. I'd seen those tours already and it was nice to hear a few tracks off the first couple of albums. i could quibble with the pacing a bit (the solos still go on a bit too much) and the encore was a bit of a let down (although i'm all for playing the best songs first, but Bjorn's crowd wanders and the energy and enthusiasm the band displayed throughout the show sure made it a fun one.

i'll see you at show four.

1000 Miles

and then some. not that i really went anywhere (come a long way, come a long way). madison (i do wonder what it would have been like if i'd have gone to college there instead of U of M), la crosse (god's country for sure, i really love those rolling hills), sandstone (it will break your heart to see pictures of the old railroad trestle) and then the minong, trego, haugen, sarona, spooner, rice lake, cumberland trail (and yes there is pie, but almost gone) but the miles brought smiles and i listened to a lot of music in no particular order:

tubeway army-replicas (damn he was good and only 20? yikes)
foster the people-torches (i could listen to pumped up kicks a few more times)
bon iver-bon iver (i'm still not loving it)
peter, bjorn and john-gimme some (first two thirds are top five album of year)
strokes-angles (the farther away from it i get, the more i like it)
radiohead-rsd single (all they really needed to do was release these two songs, there was no need for the king of limbs)
war on drugs-slave ambient (ok, i might be coming around, and to think that they are BETTER without kurt vile?)
washed out-within and without (a memorable melody or two would be nice, but this sure goes down easy)
dale earnhart jr jr-it's a corporate world (GET OFF MY LAWN!!! damn kids)
mates of state-mountaintops (i think this is the point where cute exceeds songs)
tori y mori-causers of this (see washed out)
wye oak-civilians (if i'm not careful, this will end up in my top ten)
tame impala-innerspeaker (i'm more and more convinced that this is an all time classic album)
peter wolf crier-garden of arms (not sure if it's the vocals or what, but i just can't get my arms around these guys)
yeasayer-end blood (just two songs, and they are leftovers, but man, i want another album already)
blitzen trapper-american goldwing (pretty much a miss for me...i'd say it's too country, but that isn't really the problem. they didn't write any interesting songs this time out)
jayhawks-mockingbird time (no one song jumps out at me, but it sure is nice to have old friends move back...who says you can't go home?)
mystery maybe i should get tickets already.

This Is Me

This is my future. House turned over to music.
I guess it's called the sugar shack.
Make sure you get your shots before you go in.

8 track tapes in the kitchen sink and stacked up in a mini pile wherever there are more than 5 inches of free space. (but no john lennon, cos i looked)
i didn't check the medicine cabinet, but there were cassette tapes everywhere (oh the humanity!)
Dining room is full of boxes of cds. on tables, in shelves, hanging from the ceiling (still a little light here, this is not Iowa after all, so some treats were to be found)
Living room is wall to wall vinyl. (literally and figuratively, although i didn't have the patience to look through the boxes, and my 'married to the mob' vinyl never did does he do that?)
Some old rolling stones and cream magazines plaster the walls throughout.
There were posters (will there be posters?) and videos (vhs, dvd, and dare i say it, betamax)
off to one side of the living room is a counter/desk/table with a cash register hidden amongst piles of random music artifacts (and probably dinosaur bones too for all i could see.
one the wall/shelves behind the counter/desk/table were the real goodies. the vinyl melloy would love, boxed sets i don't need (but wouldn't mind fondling), stuff i don't know that just smirks rarity.

Maybe more than a hint of mustiness pervades the space. (the windows have long since been painted shut...with what could only be lead paint) but another scent permeates as well. fulfillment? contentment? dunno. something satisfied. damn place is a dump (did i mention the soiled Hanes between the sidewalk and the house on my way in?) but the owner is living the life.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I’ll Never Be Repatriated!

Handsome Furs
Triple Rock Social Club
July 27, 2011

I maybe wasn’t totally gung ho on this show. Host of excuses (I’d already seen ‘em, like, but don’t love the new album, it was a late show, fleet foxes ruint me on shows, it was freakin’ hot out, I hate my job and want to quit) but good company kept me honest. and I’m damn glad i went.

What a great show!!!

What sounded a little light, quaint and distant on the album sure came alive during the show. The synths were pulsing and thunderous; the guitars loud and furious. It was passionate and hungry music. And it was awesome in falsetto long form.

The crowd gave ample love and the band ate it up and returned again as much. Dan wandered the crowd and kept the energy flowing with taut guitar lines (and the occasional synth-assist) and just enough banter to keep it personal. Alexei was super cute on the keyboards (that sounds really sexist, but she was) and just a little bit out of control (i loved when she rushed Dan in between songs. She discombobulated him a little.)

They played most of Sound Kapital in their a little over an hour set (maybe only missing “cheap music”). Highlights for me: “serve the people” (introduced by dan as F*ck the Police), “what about us” “repatriated” and they played “agony” as an encore closer (a b-side from the itunes edition of hte album). A couple favs from Face Control got played too (a somewhat disconnected version of “All We Want, Baby Is Everything” and a churning “Radio Kaliningrad”)

Plus we had super cool chairs on the main floor a couple feet from the stage, so we could sit all through the show and still have a great view.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Split Enz vs. Squeeze

Discuss. (and i'm kind of thinking that Split Enz were more creative and certainly had more influence than Squeeze)

(stupid blooger wouldn't let me post this in comments, nor would it let me fix the mistake i made on History Never Repeats....)

is this the line you are refering to:

"singles remind me of kisses,
albums remind me of plans"

from "If I Didn't Love You"

(Do we agree to generalize that Squeeze's lyrics were more clever, while Split Enz's were more sincere?)

also, i should give Neil Finn's solo stuff another listen. i was bitter about the breakup/change and didn't really listen with open ears/mind.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes
State Theater
July 17, 2011

They came out talking. They didn’t have much to say, but that said a lot. Robin rambled on about some simpatico connection between mpls and portland. Some idiot in the audience felt the show was audience participation. Some other idiots felt the same way. The band went ahead and fed the animals. Then they tuned their instruments for way too long, a habit they engaged in throughout the show. (They don’t have guitar techs?) Finally, they started to play. And then it all REALLY went into the ditch (on my favorite song no less “Grown Ocean”).

The volume was too high. The mix was off. You couldn’t hear the vocals at all. The instruments teetered on the edge of distortion all evening (it was way worse to start, but it really didn’t get better after the sound complaints--at least from my seat in the balcony) making it impossible to enjoy the show. People complained (profanely) about the sound quality, other audience members complained (profanely) about the complainers, the band basically shrugged and whined about the audience bumming them out. Then they proceeded to play the next third of the concert in what i’d term, at best, a perfunctory manner. (i’m just assuming the 5 minutes of fiddling with their instruments in between song is part of their annoyingly obnoxious shtick and it had nothing to do with their hurt feelings).

But it wasn’t just the sound issues and the band’s response to said issues that were the problem.

For all the intricacies of the production on the recordings, the band had no idea how to evoke that intimacy live at the State. It was just play it to the max all the time, which definitely exacerbated the exasperating sound issues. This was doubly disappointing because the voices sounded quite nice when they were willing to step back and just let the harmonies fly. Make no mistake, they didn’t mess with the arrangements (which was a bit of a disappointment to me) they just had an utter lack of dynamics. Even the one song that changed the arrangement, ( a solo robin on “oliver james”) still had the acoustic guitar turned too high (and his voice on the edge of feedback). Clearly, great songs and excellent musicians do not make a great performance.

Halfway through the show i’m really the one bummed out and ready to leave. At least the band got paid despite the bad vibes in the room. However, nobody was walking down the aisles refunding my ticket price. (i should note that the state management was very gracious when i expressed my displeasure the next day)

However, minnesotans being what they are (enabling to the extreme), the crowd took it upon themselves to rouse the sullen teenagers performers with cheers and affirmation and rousing applause (for what i’m not really sure). Eventually the band felt they had punished the audience enough (with one last scold) and started to get into the performance again for an engaged and inspired closing (albeit still teetering on the edge of red). But even this late inning rally didn’t redeem the show for me.

This could have been soooo much better. Hopefully this show won’t color my impression of Fleet Foxes (although it will make me avoid their live show in the future (til around the reunion shows in 2021). Fortunately, two of my companions enjoyed the show quite a bit, and my S.O. said of all the concerts he’d been to with me, this was by far his favorite. A not so small saving grace this was, although it did make me wonder how rapturous they would have been if the sound would have been anything approaching competent (and if the band didn’t think they needed to be rock stars).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Public Service

regarding singing at concerts, a few rules to my thinking:

1. never EVER belt it out, even when the band is looking for some audience participation, just keep it civil. keep the belting for post midnight karaoke.

2. if you can't sing, don't. you maybe can't hear yourself, but your neighbors can. clearly, dante has a hell for tone deaf singers who think they can sing (i.e., american idol)

3. even if you can sing, be considerate of your surroundings. chances are nobody is tossing quarters at your ankles before, during or after the show.

4. if you are packed like sardines in a tuna can, know that you are guaranteed to be 3 inches from someone's ear and i promise you, they don't want to hear you anymore than you want to hear them.

5. if you are drunk, keep your mouth shut. no singing, no talking, no nasty vomit scented burps.

6. shouting is not singing. your gramma ain't in the room, so there's no need to holler like you are calling the cows home.

all right....add a few of your own so ben can claim them all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Walking around in NYC

this is what i picked up in new york:

them featuring van 7.99
them featuring van 9.99 (yeah, two copies, same store)
steve winwood s/t 7.99
robyn hitchcock globe of frogs 7.99
robert forster danger in the past 1.00
robert forster i had a new york girlfriend 1.00
jesse winchester best 1.00
fat lady sings john son 1.00
jesus and mary chain far gone and out (cool hologram cd that i used to have and always regretted selling) 4.99
peter wolf lights out 4.99 (Ya! holy grail item)
squeeze cosi fan tuttu fruiti 6.99
graham parker and the shot steady nerves (elektra with bonus track) 7.99

colony store in times square was way overpriced on EVERYTHING (the james taylor walking man cd was 22.98. !!!!)

bleeker street records and generations records had great cd and vinyl selections.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Let's All Go To Cheapo

it's cold and windy and bits of snow are still flying around. good excuse to go to cheapo.

ian matthews-stealin' home (yes, this has shake it on it)
bad company-fame and fortune (i dunno why, i seem to recall a song or two i liked, neither of which are probably on here)
andy gibb-millenium collection (flipping purposes)
i'm from barcelona-forever today (am i the only one who likes these guys)
hoodoo gurus-ampology
super hits of the 70s-vol 19 (i'm sure i already have this, but it spoke to me)
super hits of the 70s-vol 23 (yes, i already listed it)
hoodoo gurus-electric soup-the singles collection (why get one H.D. greatest when you can get too)

andy gibb and i'm from barcelona were the only items at 7.95, everything else was either 5.95 or 6.95, so nice potential.

oh yeah, i got sticky george by the korgis from amazon for 1.95. and just about to find a copy of the eurythmics 1984 from the same place (after a quick MnLink search)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Don’t Check Me Out

Twin Shadow/Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Triple Rock Social Club
April 25, 2011

Packed house at the TR for this show. Or at least packed house for twin shadow (audience thinned out considerably by the time the Pains played.) clearly TS was the draw for this show (or maybe it was because it was a school night (monday) and everyone had to get home before the news was over.) and the audience gave them lots of love “you should be the headliner” yelled some doof next to us (really? you gotta yell dumb stuff like that to justify your existence?)
. Me? i was more into the Pains (even though i haven’t loved Belong and the twin shadow disc was #7 on my 2010 year end list (how’s that for self referential?)) but the thing is, neither band really blew me away.

both acts were more than competent and had the crowds involved but there were just too many little things that kept it from being memorable for me. Take Twin Shadow. i for one, really dug they synth-ey sound of Forget, so the rock out live versions were just a little too guitar centric (and boring guitar) for me. and really, all the tuning and standing around getting shit together on stage between songs definitely created lags (allowing doofs in the crowd to get all up and talky personal). what flies by on 40 minutes of record (and they played all of Forget, unless i’m missing something), really seemed drawn out during a 50 minute show. (not complaining about the 50 minutes, btw) and how about something new. Forget has been out awhile, you’ve got to have something, right?

pains are so young. makes me feel super old (which i am), not that that is any kind of a criticism. just observation. and the fact that a lot of their sound (at least on the first album and singles) was big was i was their age. and now they are all smashing pumpkins by way of silversun pickups (not that there is anything wrong with that either) just more observation. nothing wrong with a little cribbing early on. won’t play forever, but it’s fine enough for now (and they definitely know how to write a pop hook, you could teach a community to catch a boat load of fish with either of their albums) they never really caught fire on stage (for all their obvious enthusiasm). not sure why i wasn’t more taken with them. they worked it, and the viking talk (if not a little pandering to the crowd) was a bit of a pleasant shock (but boo to the vikings) maybe it just wasn’t anything you couldn’t see any other show by any other competent band any other day of the week and certainly, the biggest issue i had with pains were the sound issues. Both the sound levels on his voice (was there no one working the sound board who knew how to turn the volume up on berman’s mike?) and the fact that he isn’t really a very strong vocalist (I’d thought the off tune and slight singing on the first ep was an affectation, but now I see that that was closer to the (live) truth. that didn’t help matters.
(which is funny cos passion pit had their own technical difficulties with the same sound issues but that didn’t really stop the crowd’s delirium at that show and the pains have just as many if not more, crowd pleasing songs. )
dunno what the deal was. maybe it was the monday blahs. it’s a shame cos they both have a peck of great songs and even if they are a little (ha) derivative, they are both interesting artists and i’m curious to see how they grow (or don’t for that matter)

Maybe next time through they both will have grown as performers along with their artistic growth.

A Pretty Good Night

Rural Alberta Advantage
First Avenue
March 25, 2011

ok. liked them well enough, but they seriously have to change it up. by the end of the show i was pretty fed up with the yelpy vocals and the super strumming on the acoustic guitar, making all the songs sound the same (even the ones that shouldn’t have sounded the same). but then they came out for the second encore, climbed the stairs by the bathrooms and proceeded to play an acoustic version of “Good Night” right above us (we lucked out by heading to the doors at the end of the first encore) and i was charmed. nicely done kids. all is forgiven. (yes, I know it was totally a gimmick they do all the time and I’ll just find it annoying if I go again) but seriously....more instrumentation next time.

Gang, Gang, Gang, Gang: Don’t Dance

Gang of Four
First Avenue
February 12, 2011

if i want to see middle aged naked belly i can just look down. don’t need to see it on stage. have to say, i didn’t love this show. it was wildly uneven, without the highest of highs to balance out the lullest of lulls. glad i got to see them, but won’t need to go that way again and i can’t safely say that nothing they performed live made me reconsider their recorded work. (might even have diminished a song or two off the new one, unfortunately)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011? This is 2004 calling collect.

more like lollapasnooza

Foo Fighters?

they may as well sign up dave matthews and john mayer

the undercard doesn't really blow me away either.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Memorex? Really?

Radio Dept
7th Street Entry
February 9, 2011

they played to backing tapes. THEY PLAYED TO BACKING TAPES!!! i dunno. i'm still outraged. and more than a little disappointed. eyes to the ground for most of the show, they barely even acknowledged that there was a crowd (although i think i saw a few smiles nearly break out several times for whatever inscrutable nordic maybe what saps this crowd is to cheer us when we are practically milli vanilli) in fact, maybe the whole show was just an art project and they were pre-recorded holograms beamed from sweden via satellite. you'd never be able to tell from the performance. i could have just stayed home and watched a youtube video of a show of them. same net effect. and i wouldn't have been subjected to the utter lack of enthusiasm that the crowd displayed for the opener, The Young Prisms (ok, maybe the audience's complete failure to acknowledge the band by clapping when songs were over was pretty funny and the highlight of the evening)

where was i? oh yeah, indignation at the swedish nation. blerg. and harumpf. at least they had a good set list with pretty much all my favorites. and i do have to say, most radio dept songs are my favorites; "pulling our weight", "David", "Heaven's on Fire", "The New Improved Hypocrisy", "Ewan", "Domestic Scene", "Closing Scene." Just wanted a live rhythm section, nobody pushing the play button and maybe a little spontaneity. maybe i ask too much and should just be happy that they decided to hit our little hamlet. but that would be acceptance. i'd rather have a drummer!

If You Doubt

S. Carey
Varsity Theater
January 14th, 2011

First show of 2011, first show post of 2011 (and it's only april until i get around to it).

what can i say about S. Carey live? Hmmmm....i really do like his album FOR ALL WE GROW, "In the Dirt" and "In the Stream" really stick out for me, but the whole album has a nice feel. Definitely a shadow cast of Bon Iver with the hushed vocals and folky/pop arrangements and ethereal aesthetic, but that's ok. if i had a boat, that sound would be my ocean.
Live, S. Carey and his band have a more distinctly Nick Drake vibe than he does on recording. if nick drake played piano and wasn't afraid to get a little of it out. There was an intensity, a decidedly powerful energy live that is missing for the sleepy wispy studio sound. A very welcome shot when i was worried that this show might be all church like and reverent, like bon iver's show at the turf club (although still not enough volume to keep someone awake) Plus his choice of covers (The Notwist and David Bazan) are maybe a good indication of where he's aiming (and filled out a show that barely lasted an hour....not that i'm complaining.....much).

This is definitely a talented work in progress, learning how to apply his talents to the pop trade. i'm looking forward to the next album and tour to see where he goes next. (i predict heavy metal) As always, the varsity was different, but still lovely. such a great venue.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Many’s The Time I’ve Been Mistaken

I picked up the new paul simon disc tuesday (damn those new release days...i just can’t quit them) i might have been a little hasty in labeling “So Beautiful or So What” one of (if not the) favorites simon discs. But i was really struck by how good is sounded after years of pretty much writing Simon off (i blame edi brickell, because there’s always someone to blame...and at least carrie fisher provided the muse for some of my favorite simon songs)

So of course, a career retrospective listening party was in order to check my simon headspace. pretty much listened to everything in chronological order (exceptions were capeman and the remastered graceland which were stuck in the “S” stacks and it took me several evening to work through the spindles before i found them.) Listened to the remastered versions from 2004 with, of course, bonus tracks, but i didn’t consider the bonus tracks during my evaluations, that was just a fun bonus for me. (although “stranded in a limousine” would have improved “One Trick Pony” but as much as i enjoy “Thelma” i’m glad that didn’t make it onto “Rhythm”. I listened to “Paul Simon” twice, but that didn’t change my perception of the disc, just caught me in a mood and it had been a while since i really paid attention to it
Last qualification: if “Slip Slidin’ Away isn’t my favorite Paul Simon song, then it’s my second favorite (with the live “American Tune” being number one. and if it would have been on Still Crazy (bonus track demo version doesn’t count) that one would have been higher.

oh yeah, i listened to the russian futurists’ “Paul Simon” to set the stage.

So hear you go, this is how they stack up for me from last to first (and i’m still debating the placement of So Beautiful)

10. Surprise
The only thing that is really clear is that SURPRISE is not much of one. The brian eno backing soundscapes are busy and distracting without being remotely interesting. This wouldn’t be a big deal if simon had written a good batch of songs, but his talents fail him here. the melodies are forgettable (wait, that would imply that you had remembered them in the first place), so instead, lets say the melodies are non-existent, and the lyrics, some of the most overtly political in simon’s career, and the most overtly political of his career. where’s the neatly worded allusion, the carefully crafted metaphor? nothing here. move along.

9. Songs from the Capeman
There are some nice melodies here, and a couple of songs (“Killer Wants to Go College”, “Trailways Bus”) hint at a narrative that could have been a lot more interesting (and coherent) if Simon would have ditched the musical and just told the story through a song cycle. And i don’t mind the occasionally awkward musical excursions (i know Simon gets a lot of flak for cultural appropriation, but it always seems like more homage and popularization than plagiarism and his enthusiasm exceeds his opportunism) But mostly, I end up skipping a lot of songs because it seems like they forget to be songs are instead exposition and asides needed to propel the musical. i’d love it if he revisited this recording sometime and gave us a director’s cut as it were.

8. Still Crazy After All These Years
Hate the title song, hate “have a good time”, hate the pseudo jazz production that smears up everything with a bland crisco sound, and as much as i love “my little town” it doesn’t belong here (if only the album had its questing, lost, slightly acrid tone). and everything feels kinds condescending and smarmy to me (“i’m paul simon and you’re not). even the big hit “50 ways to leave your lover” can only come across as bitter (even thought the melody and drums are insanely ear worm-ish) i know it was big back in the day, and “i do it for your love” is a kinda charming song, but i just can’t like this album.

7. One Trick Pony
“That’s Why God Made the Movie” and “How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns” are soooooo great. And “Late in the Evening” was pretty inescapable (i pretty much heard that song every day on the bus ride to school for all of it’s chart run) even if i have a like/hate relationship with it (like the hate the lyrics) I’m even kinda fond of “One trick Pony” and “Nobody”(although i do agree they are sorta dull songs), but the rest of it is utterly without merit. bland melodies, trite lyrics and that pseudo jazz/electric vibraphone keyboard-ey thing production. It was really hard not to skip the second half of this. (even the bonus track from the movie, “Soft Parachutes” which, in the context of the movie, is supposed to be a one hit wonder, is terrible.)

6. You’re the One
When i started this listen, i was pretty sure that You’re the One was going to be in last place. I listened to it a couple times when it came out, but it didn’t make much of an impression, and it just sorta got lost and unheard. i even had an actual copy of the remastered version of it that i never bothered to listen to (maybe it was a gift) much less bother to sell. and then i gave it a listen and now i’m feeling like my disregard was unwarranted. the production is (welcomingly) toned down for the levels of Graceland and Rhythm, mostly staying in the background instead of overwhelming the songs, which suits these simpler songs. there are some nice lyrics here, personal almost on a Hearts and Bones level about coming to terms with yourself and your history. And the melodies are remarkably catchy throughout the disc. there are even hints of humor (“Old” and “Pigs, Sheep and Wolves”) in place of the usual world weariness Simon espouses. Even songs that could come off as bitter (“Look at That” and “Darling Lorraine”) seem more accepting of situations and circumstance. Maybe that marriage thing is working out. And i really love “Senorita with a Necklace of Tears”

5. Paul Simon
funny how i ignore “Mother and Child Reunion” as one of his great songs and then i hear it and i’m just amazed. Maybe it’s because it really doesn’t sound like paul simon. it’s more like a cover of some lost mournful religious classic. it sounds like something from a different time, a different world, a different musical lineage than the one i associate with mr. simon. i always mistakenly drop it off the canon. The whole album still strikes me this way. Like he was purposefully writing away from the S&G style, less grand statements, more intimate themes and trying to avoid standard musical tropes at all stops. Course, i wouldn’t say his world beat explorations start here (seems like he was doing that on Bridge already) but he does sound freer and looser here, more willing to push himself and unwilling to let anything define him. quite striking to have so much success in one phase and be so able (needful) to change it all up and come out even better.

4. Hearts and Bones
another bit of a surprise. i always thought this was my favorite Simon album. and it is really really great. wonderful imagery in the lyrics, definitely his most personal lyrics with some of my favorite melodies of all. ok, i can quibble with the “Sangre de Christos, the Blood of Christ mountains of new mexico” bit (jeez, paul, you didn’t have to spell it out, we understood without the translation). “song about the moon”, “train in the distance” “late great johnny ace”, Rene and georgette....” and of course, the title track (except for the minor lyrics misstep mentioned above) are all some of my favorite songs.
i think what strikes me upon a careful examination though is how jarring the transitions from the gentle guitar based ballads to the more upbeat/uptempo/world beat ish songs are. I won’t deny the catchiness (and my fondness) for “Allergies” and “think too much (a and to a lesser degree b) and “when numbers get serious” and they definitely fit lyrically/thematically, but the flow isn’t there. it’s almost like two separate albums in one. not sure if that’s on purpose (it is a break up and post mortem album after all) but if so, i’m not sure what the two sides are (her and his or him with her/him without her?) dunno, but that schizophrenia is holding it back for me. (and the less said about “cars are cars” the better....he should have borrowed “in cars” from art’s scissors cuts album)

3. Graceland
probably don’t need to say much about this. it was huge (funny that anyone thought it was a risk for him) it still sounds great and i don’t care about the all cultural exploitation commentary regarding it (although the professional exploitation aspect is kinda interesting). and, “boy in the bubble” has my favorite paul simon lyrics (“Staccato signals of constant information, A loose affiliation of millionaires, And billionaires and baby”) and the cadence of his singing/speaking gets me every time. I even like “You Can Call Me Al”) and the more i think about it, the more i think “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” is about Carrie.

2. Rhythm of the Saints
Why deny the obvious, child. why deny the obvious? Everything thinks this is Graceland part light. i think it’s better. the music is more seamless (Graceland was kind of a disconnected gumbo of styles based mostly on a philosophy of “This is the World (calling)”. The lyrics are more universal (Graceland, although not necessarily about paul, definitely centered around a man’s mid life crisis) with themes of faith and hope and searching that were poetic and evoked that long lost missing eden for which everyone seems. the music carries the listener further into Simon’s themes, with complex drum rhythms that can’t help but make one think of a dense primitive rainforest (eden?). Cool jungles, rivers, truth, the innocence of babies, this is all about getting back to the garden, purifying, and rebirth. love it.

1. There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
Ok. i’d have never thought this would be my favorite. RotS or Hearts and Bones for sure. i’d heard it many times and hearted it since high school, but it never stood out as the one. Of course, this one has a lot of great songs (“American Tune”, “Kodachrome”, “Take Me to Mardi Gras”, “Loves Me Like a Rock” with some of Paul’s most consistent songwriting (lyrically and musically) and it’s firmly within the top five, but what changed?
Certainly, So Beautiful or So What had an impact on my listening. As he approaching 70, he’s more at ease with his life, with himself, with his legacy and there’s a calmness in his lyrics and themes, that i hadn’t noticed before (other than in “You’re the One” in 2000, although that’s a long time to go between contentment). Until i went back and realized that he had this calm way back in 1973. While i was listening, i was struck by a couple things.

First off, the lyrics are personal (not as personal as hearts and bones of course, but plenty personal), he’s not writing about some theoretical husband and father here, he’s writing about himself and his family and the world directly around him. it also just happens that he’s so good that he can write about those things and they seem universal to the listener. it’s also interesting to hear them as diary entries or historical entries in the life of paul simon from 35 years ago. i’m charmed by the part where he’s singing about if the famous singer can’t sing his son to sleep; what would the people think, self deprecating (although i typed that as elf deprecating the first time and almost left the typo cos it applies) and also a little break down of the fourth wall between image and reality.

the other thing that strikes me about these songs is how contented he seems. Angst need not apply here; life is good and he appears to be delirious happy. the songs are genuine, peaceful and sincere, things i don’t typically equate with Simon (he of the more restless, ironic, neurotic and dubious about everything type). His contentment is contagious, and i can’t help buy smile when i listen to these songs, “Something so Right” indeed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Year That Was Was

November Picks
Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
The Russian Futurists-the weight's on the wheels

October Picks
Sufjan Stevens-The Age of Adz
Antony & The Johnsons-Swanlights

September Picks
Deerhunter-Halcyon Digest
the Walkmen-Lisbon

August Picks
Film School-Fission
The Drums-s/t

July Picks
The Books-The Way Out

June Picks
Tokyo Police Club-Champ
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti-Before Today
Sleigh Bells-Treat

May Picks
Janelle Monae-The ArchAndroid
The Black Keys-Brothers
Broken Social Scene-Forgiveness Rock Record
National-High Violet

April Picks

March Picks
Broken Bells
Frightened Rabbit-The Winter of Mixed Drinks

February Picks
Joanna Newsom-Have One on Me
Phantogram-Eyelid Movies
Shearwater-The Golden Archipelago

January Picks
Beck (featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg) IRM
Beach House-Teen Dream

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We Know That They're There

Np: graham parker squeezing out the sparks. Such a great album.

I went to the fetus on Saturday with a list of parker albums I was missing. I found two of them in the "new" used sections (up escalator, the real macaw and struck by lightning--which I already had, but couldn't pass it up). For 5.99 each (import versions with bonus tracks). also found another grey area at cheapo. can't get much better than that.







surprise shirtless

one more

death cab for cutie first ave may 21!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

what did you expect?


i'm sure i'll hate them by the time their album comes out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

am i right? am i wrong? or am i just dreaming?

Psycho Soundtrack?

btw, as i was listening to Midnight Express last week, i couldn't help but think that i can't remember the last drop you in your tracks song from a movie. back in the 70's and 80's there wasn't a week that didn't have a movie theme song in the top 40 (hell...most times in the top 10). and now (other than those twilight soundtracks, which really aren't that memorable) it just seems like a movie theme ghost town (and the best song nominees from the last few oscars would seem to support my theory)

at least that is my impression. Any movie soundtrack fans out there care to debunk?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happiness Is In Your Hand

short shot streams:

Dodos-In Color: so close but yet so far. animal collective have much to answer for
Pains of Being Pure at Heart-Belong: it's wrong to expect another "young adult friction" or "higher than the stars", but if progress is silversun pickups (i.e., smashing pumpkins) i'm all for creative rut and debut v. 2.
Le Sera-s/t: sounded so much better in a short sound bite.
Mountain Goats-All Eternals Deck: The MGs have almost become the indie equivalent to eating your vegetables. Lots to digest, purportedly good for you, and better off as a side dish instead of the main meal. 'cept i kinda hate green veggies (except for peas).
Noah and the Whale-Last Night on Earth: Wha???? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I was ready to write this band off after the dreckian First Day of Spring and then they come out with this? which not only has a pulse, and songs, and charm and WTF? This is a really good disc, perfectly paced between some shockingly upbeat songs (almost disco, almost rocking) and some kinda seemingly po-faced ballads (wild thing, which i love, isn't even the best of the batch). There's even an inescapably catchy could be a single (although results my vary and your ICCBAS might not be the same as mine) that i could help but hit replay on a few too many times. this is a huge, delightful surprise.