Summer come soon

I happened to hear this one driving into town on a brisk February night. I’ve always appreciated home grown vegetables but I can’t say I’ve ever valued them as much as Mr. Denver. But the warm air brings more to this town than a fruit with an identity crisis. The roads clear up, the bars are quieter, and meeting new folks is a must if you want good company. For a village dweller such as myself it doesn’t get any better than this.


gettin’ there


For those that missed the “A” train . . .

“Helicopter” – Deerhunter

“Truck” – Octopus Project

“Car Song” – Woody Guthrie

“Just Walkin’ In The Rain” – The Prisonaires

“Two Trains Runnin'” – Bob Dylan

Get in the suburban, we’re going Outback tonight

If Athens’ Of Montreal hadn’t sold their song ‘Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games’ to OSI Restaurant Partners then we might have never thought to associate their music with the sound of getting fatter. But as it stands they did and we do.

In hommage to America’s new favorite past time and courtesy of Fish Truck Productions, Ciudadito Studios presents these two tracks from Rodney Queen’s American Dream. (right click the hyperlink to download)

Outback Theme

Outback Theme (alternate take)

La Mazure EP

Meet Ruby, a Canadian songwriter and avid nudist. These are four of her lo-fi tracks recorded in Normandie from July to August 2010 with only modest production. All songs written by Ruby except ‘Sterilized Tiger Fucking a Peasant Woman in the Mountain Position’, a Fleet Foxes cover. It should be said that Ruby wrote the hauntingly good ‘Hands’ for Your Marriages’ ‘It’s All Coming’ but alas that peg was destined for another hole. Now without making anymore allusions the great act je vous presente La Mazure EP…

Ruby – Jack and Jill

Ruby – Love’s a Bridge It’s Not a Tower

Ruby – Hands

Ruby – Sterilized Tiger Fucking a Peasant Woman in the Mountain Position




In the past few years, the philly music-scene has been producing innovative music by really cool people. Dr. Dog, Man Man, and The Extraordinaires all have a sound that counters the disco-pop-rock sound that is “in” these days, and we all should benefit from their work.

In the summer of ’06, my St. Louisan circle of friends introduced me to Dr. Dog. I wasn’t sold at first because of the “cute” band name and because I was skeptical of anything that sounded too “throwback” and not forward-sounding enough. Example, “Oh No” :

Now, this is a song that I like now, but in 2006, it sounded like the above description. But any criticism of Dr. Dog sounding as though they were reaching back to an older period ended once I heard “The Girl” in 2007:

It’s important to note that Dr. Dog shares vocal responsibilities with the guitarist Scott McMicken (the two previous songs were McMicken’s) and bassist Toby Leaman.

Here are three Leaman tracks:

“Die, Die, Die” 

“The Pretender”  

“The Ark”  

Earlier this year they released Shame, Shame. Next up…

Man Man was thrown into our consciousness by some girl JoMunto (one of my St. Louis pals) had a class with. Apparently, she approached Munto and told him that he looks like Honus Honus (which he does), the frontman of Man Man. As these things go, Munto did a little research and found he liked these crazy-ass men-children.

To date, they’ve provided the best Take-Away Show,4324

“Gold Teeth” utilizes a technique that hits a nerve with me. It’s when the melody is slowed down, but the percussion/rhythm is amped up. This begins to take place at 4:05 minutes into the song and finishes it out.

Another example of this device is used on Wilco’s “Via Chicago.”

“Spider Cider” shows off their rambunctiousness that is contagiousness when watching them live.

“Van Helsing Boombox” is one of those radio-friendly tracks that you’re happy never made it to the radio.

“Ice Dogs” incorporates some tempo and melody changes that do not happen enough in today’s popular music where the danceability of a song determines the quality of a song.

And on to the band that you may not have heard of, THE EXTRAORDINAIRES.

Any praise that I can muster up for any one band will be lauded onto these guys. If I could be any band’s next door neighbor (and it actually be a possibility), it’d be these guys. Young, involved in all things philycoool, they hand-make books that are partnered with their albums… simply put, they’re cooler than anyone I know. Led by the Purdy brothers, these guys are smart, entertaining, goofy as hell, and they have this careless aire that is also shared by Man Man. Both bands legitimately seem like they don’t give a shit about the music industry. All the bands that come out of LA (and most from Brooklyn) always seem to be trying to “out fashion” one another, but these Philly bands don’t care about any of that. They’re not trying to piggy-back any emerging style that is making its way to ipod or hybrid car commercials and they continue making music that really doesn’t pigeon-hole them.

This track became my drinking buddies’ anthem, “The Warehouse Song”

These songs are straightforward, but good nonetheless. “Neighborhood Watch”

A dark-humored children’s story. “Hi-Five the Cactus”

And a song about a relationship from an insecure male’s perspective, “Seeds of Jealousy”

The Extraordinaires have a new album out, and unfortunately, I’ve yet to purchase it. In the next week or so, I will have it.

Those three bands provide huge reasons why I’d like to live in Philadelphia, PA. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t, but if any of these bands come through your city, you should go see them. Enjoy the philly roof-tops-

while you work

Sometimes the human language just doesn’t cut it, your lead guitarist is working on his second pack of Chesterfields and your engineer is too damn lazy to run a new signal chain of source > mic > preamp > processor > board > ada converter > etc — result? The whistle solo. Keep the tape rolling, the vocal mic live and make sure that wind screen is in front of your U47. If you’re lucky your whistler inhales and isn’t an overbearing twat like Whistler’s mother.

“Daniella” – Hurray For The Riff Raff

“Chewin’ The Apple Of Your Eye” – The Falming Lips

“Fitz & Dizzyspells” – Andrew Bird

“Red-Eyed And Blue” – Wilco

Lolz ROFL BRB and other bastardizations of language, thanks and thanks internet

In retrospect I know I probably should have posted something on the pillar of hope (that is this blog) but other time killers have been beckoning and veraciously feeding on my attention span whose spectrum extends not even the width of my ear. This is only further intensified when you’ve got to big a dome. But this purely an anatomical and disciplinary problem, and doesn’t fall into the never ending war of Stoicism and Epicureanism which can be further distilled down to dicks and a wizard’s choice of apparel……
So hear are a few tracks that have caught the small ears in recent months I think they’ll do you some good as they’ve done me.
Devendra Banhart – Venezuelian Singer Songerwriter, this song could possibly be described as a straight up mix of delicate titillating folk and sassy bosanova, which screams boss. O and he was born in that shit-heap of a city deemed H-Town.

Noch ein weiteres Lied – Continental Breakfast (Selva spill remix feat. Click-Clack)
I’d also like to add a film composition composed by Carter Burwell for the film In Bruges (if you have any hate for Colin Farrel OK, i mean there exists a mass of teenage hussy slags that would throw themselves on top of him, regardless an excellent film with great tunes.)
It’s possible that I may have posted this in an earlier segment, hopefully not, it’s a great songPlain Material
And another suggestion, go to this address and download Cordially Invited by local Austin artist Corduroi
He’s got some good tracks.
I believe that about wraps it up for the time being, hope y’all enjoy or already have.

I’m Still Here – hoax. Awesomely method, but hoax.

It’s true… Casey Affleck’s documentary of Joaquin Phoenix’s plunge into rapperdom/depression is just a movie.

It goes like this: Joaquin appears as an aloof hobo/artist on Letterman. Public is suspicious of a publicity stunt, but then again, Joaquin is believably that kind of guy who could conceivably throw his career out in just that way. In the weeks following, Casey Affleck and camera crew are seen with Phoenix.  Suspicions are aroused. Hoax? Documentary? Lots of time passes. Phoenix doesn’t pick up any other work. Doubters are turned and nearly everyone agrees: Joaquin has gone off the deep end. Finally trailers for I’m Still Here surface. It finally looks like at least somebody has an explanation. Finally September 16, opening day for the film rolls around and Affleck himself admits to the New York Times that it was all an act.

Bravo, Joaquin. You’ve put yourself through some hell. I’ll see your movie. Affleck’s lucky to have such a co-conspirator.

This has nothing to do with the hoax, it’s just an amazing song –

Soviet National Anthem

Watching un-live, LIVE shows.

After three years of missing these guys perform, I finally saw Octopus Project play. Octo Proj is probably the closest to dance-pop that I listen to. There are dramatic, yet energetic tones that make you focus on the topic at hand, be it an important project or simply completing the dregs of a bottle opened just a few hours earlier (The Adjuster, Porno Disaster). Adrenaline cranking jams that make you want to run through a linebacker on your way to biking through traffic-congested streets, every pass of disgruntled motorist providing more satisfaction than the last (Music is Happiness), and tracks that deliver the same emotions that overcome a server after completing a double-shift and the realization that dawns on them when they are clocked out at 9:35pm (instead of midnight) and that there is $180 dollars in their pocket (instead of only $100)- Truck.

So, I was finally able to see these guys LIVE after slurping their tunes for years… and it wasn’t great. Some of the responsibility falls squarely on the venue’s shoulders (18+) and some of it falls on contemporary pop/indie-pop/dance-pop (whatevs) music. The biggest drawback however was the amount of loops used and how that put constraints on a live show.

I remember this happening when I saw RJD2. Basically, live shows aren’t the same when they aren’t played live (no duh).

The RJD2 and now the Octo Proj’s shows weren’t worth the effort. Both artists make good tracks that should be played at any dance party, but ultimately, that’s where their tracks should remain. To be enjoyed with friends and acquaintances while mixed in between some hip-hop and the like. If you go to their show expecting to catch lightning in a bottle, or some variation of your favorite song that you will always identify as “the best time I heard this song,” you will be disappointed.

Kaki King, Andrew Bird, and a few other acts also use loops, but in a different way. Though it’s just as repetitive, they record a progression live, loop it, build on top of it, and when the song reaches “maximum density,” they conclude or resolve whatever sonic canvas they’ve just built. It’s different in that they are playing their licks live and the build-up is always unique and usually better than what is produced on the album:

Andrew Bird- Why?

Kaki King- Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers

Contrast that with what occurs when Octo Proj/RJD2 perform, and little, if anything, is enhanced from the album. Pair that with the fact that these bands do not have a wide range and after thirty-five minutes or so, you’ll find their music is pretty redundant. They don’t cross genres or really mix anything up. Imagine listening to an hour-straight of Ratatat, I couldn’t. But that’s the music they choose to make, and I’m thankful for it (I’m still very much a fan), I’ll just pass when given the opportunity to see them live.

Try to do a Indian Johnny Cash accent, it’s not easy

watch Sam Raimi's 'Drag Me to Hell'

Just like writing, posting to this thing takes alot of alone time – listening time, editorial time – and good time is hard to come by these days but this morning I had just that. So I dug through my iTunes ‘recently added’ folder and tried to work up a post. I was hit by a wave of tracks I had collected to entertain 15 year olds, most of which were just sugary rot. Sometimes 15 year olds need to be slapped, told to shut the fuck up, and forced to listen some of their father’s music. They have to be told what’s good for them. Sadly, unless he or she is your 15 year old that kind of justice will probably go unpaid. Sometimes the kids have a point. Just like their father they need someone to listen to them too. It’s a balance beam. Still, my father isn’t here to slap me but if he was maybe we could listen to these track’s together…

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