March 30, 2009

Springsteen on Dylan

"The first time I heard Bob Dylan, I was in the car with my mother listening to WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody had kicked open the door to your mind."
- Bruce Springsteen
Is “Like A Rolling Stone” the greatest song of all time? Probably.

That snare literally stopped us in our tracks at work yesterday. Anything else over the office muzak thing would have blended right-in with our little meeting about a logo. But by the second verse, most focus was lost and someone finally slipped an under-the-breath, “How does it feeeeel?"

Is the "Judas" situation at Newcastle in 1966 one of the most iconic moments of all time? Yes. Should you own the mp3 of it? Yes.

"Play it fucking loud."

By the way, Bob Dylan’s 33rd studio album, Together Through Life, comes out 4/28. That's some steamy art, Bob! The man is 67.

You can grab the first single, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin”, right here.

Should this post have been titled "Bruce on Bob"? Perhaps.

Also over the speakers yesterday was Radiohead’s
“Let Down”. It was as if that satellite was daring me to make an existential run for it.

March 27, 2009

Friday Send-Off | Futurecop! | "Karate Kids"

Youth is a state of mind.
Unicorns exist (if you want it).
Have a great weekend.

"You can turn this world around, and bring back all those happy days. Put your troubles down, its time to celebrate. Let love shine, and we will find a way to come together and make things better. We need a holiday." - Madonna

The band is Futurecop! << that's their !, not mine. Although I will give that video a !

March 26, 2009

Classic | Arthur Russell | The Sleeping Bag Sessions [1981 - 1986]

As previously mentioned, I now love Arthur Russell’s career.

This 2009 compilation features tracks from his Sleeping Bag label era that saw Russell work under a number of aliases, acting as writer/mixer in some places and producer/remixer in others. Like most of his work, The Sleeping Bag Sessions fits nicely with today’s trends (in other words, way ahead of its time) while still being a time capsule of style. It’s fun to hear an old school hip hop verse or a Ronald Reagan speech sample and know it wasn’t intended to have throwback appeal. You can picture Russell quietly messing around in the studio, pushing his craft (and ultimately, genre) forward. I wonder if he ever pictured some 25 year-old jamming out to this over his desk speakers, some 30 years later.

Download | Arthur Russell | The Sleeping Bag Sessions (full album)

YouTube has most of the (not remastered) songs up: "Tiger Stripes", "Dinosaur L / Go Bang", "You Can't Hold Me Down", "5 Minutes (Reagan)", "School Bell / Tree House"

Disco. Get Weird.

March 23, 2009

Retro PSA Aesthetic = Music Video Gold

There’s something about the juxtaposition of slightly unsettling vintage PSA footage and a slightly unsettling song that plain works. The latest to further the formula is Wavves. This isn't the official music video for "No Hope Kids", but it probably should be.

I’ve been sitting with both of his ├╝ber-blogged about LPs. One titled Wavves and the other…Wavvves. I don’t know dude. I just. don’t. know. Wavves is raw and different. Wavves repeats consonants, fashionably. I can do about 20 minutes of Wavves at a time. Do I really like Wavves or am I just being swayed by a garage-full of fuzzzy punk, surfboards, and hyperbole?

In any event, that video is interesting (slash troubling) and got me thinking of the Dr. Dog video for “Fools Life”, which samples the infamous 1963 bicycle safety movie, One Got Fat.

Other videos who got weird with the same ape children (to name a few):

Boards of Canada | “Everything You Do is a Ballon” - gets really good at 1:43 mark
Goddamn Electric Bill | "Lost In The Zoo" - friendlier, proof that song sets mood
The Esther Caulfield Orchestra | "There It Goes Again"

This is what happens when something becomes public domain. Kids, listen to your indie bands: stay off those railroads and use your hand signals.

March 19, 2009

What The World Needs Now...Is Not, Another Music Blog

In another life, I'd be at South by Southwest, hunched over a laptop in some remote room, writing about the Department of Eagles set and some other new act that stole Wednesday's heart. Voices from the other side of a wall would be muffled enough that I wouldn't necessarily know what I was missing, but I'd be scrambling to get this blog out nonetheless. I'd be a little stressed out, but it'd be that good kind, fueled by enthusiasm, not fear.

From the Department of Eagles blurb, I'd segue into Grizzly Bear's set on Thursday and how good their new album is.

Insert (nice) album cover.

Use an array of descriptors: rich, moody, vibrant, intimate, sprawling, sunny "poptimism", etc.

Comment on how early albums are leaking these days: this one is worth waiting for the high quality version on 5/26.

Add something about how everyone follows Ed from the band on his twitter.

Link to standout track | "Cheerleader" |

Feature quasi-relevant video of TV appearance for good measure | "Two Weeks" |

Not that this other life is better or worse.
Just another one.
And another music blog.

I've been out of town. Thanks for waiting. Shout-out to my H4H-ers!

March 6, 2009

Pretty Excited About | J. Tillman being The Nicest Guy in Music Today

I’ve never exchanged more than a slight “great show” w/head nod gesture with the guy, but still. Every time we saw Fleet Foxes last year, at least one person we were with commented on how cool and funny the drummer was. Yes his stage-wit is top-notch (see: carrot mist blog). But then you take into account that he’s been quietly and consistently putting out solo records for the past 5 years, and you just want to believe in him. Then you listen to this year’s Vacilando Territory Blues and game over: I want to be J. Tillman’s friend. Here's the video for "Firstborn":

He's got a Sun Kil Moon/Bonnie "Prince" Billy appeal. I hope that comparison is okay with Tillman. Josh, please contact me if you'd prefer a different comparison /slash/ want to be my friend.

Have a great weekend folks.
(FYI) I'm trading my keyboard for a hammer next week, on another Habitat for Humanity trip. If anyone wants to "guest-blog" while I'm out, do ask.