Friday, November 30, 2007

Corelli: Christmas Concerto

Second round of Christmas music is some of the most beautiful music written, no matter what the season. Written (to sum it up) by Baroque Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli, Concerto grosso in G minor, op.6 no. 8, or the Christmas Concerto, as per the inscription on the manuscript (Fatto per la notte di Natale-- "made for the night of Christmas"), is not only a joy to play but a delight to listen to, lush without drama, at times as peaceful as a lullaby, at other times thrilling, and clocking in at only 15 minutes and, honestly, with never a dull moment.

The files come from a CD that also includes the Four Seasons (look to the right), but I have a feeling everybody who wants a copy of those has one. I'm pretty sick of 'em myself. Also, I think the second movement is part of the first track here. Or it might be completely missing and totally clueless. I just remember it as a lot of pages and our teacher threatening us encouraging us not to put down our instruments in between movements, even if we don't come in right away, or else the audience will clap and we'll be here all night.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Clip Night: Someone shot the sheriff

Soo, I'm sitting here on my ass trying to delay walking down to the printer. I said I was gonna go to sleep before 1 am. Ain't happening. Aaand the kid two doors down is smoking pot again! I have the heater on and the window open, which I think might be a sin.

So this clip is from a great show, Grounded for Life, about an Irish-American Catholic family living on Staten Island. The YouTube clip selection isn't too hot, but skip to about 1:51 and check out the Bob Marley jokes. Happy Monday :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Vandals: Oi to the World!

Okay, so I contained myself til after Thanksgiving, and even after Black Friday, and now it is totally technically okay to start listening to Christmas music. I love Christmas music and I love Christmas (unlike the guy in "Hang Myself From the Tree"), especially now that it means that I will have finished finals, I get to go home and be fed, and all the other Christmas/return home stuff.

So-- we'll kick off the festivities with the Vandals' absolutely fab Christmas album, Oi to the World! I am not found of the Yobs cover, but the album in its entirety is a whole lotta fun. Highlights are, of course "Oi to the World", "Here I am Lord" featuring Joe Escalante's muppet voice, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies", and the deliciously desperate and pissy "Nothing's Going to Ruin My Holiday." Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

[for those who celebrate it]

Hey kids! Just wanted to make sure you have a fab Thankgiving. Nah, I'm orderin' y'all to, so have a great time, and make sure that this is vous! I usually preach moderation, just like the ancient Greeks, but it's Thanksgiving for chrissakes, and one of the greatest pleasures in life, besides mashed sweet potatoes, freshly made cranberry sauce, and a BBQ'd bird (very very important, none of that oven-baked roast-y thing) is-- pie.

Anyway, here's the original picture, I cropped it and took out the logo, though poor old Alan is still covered by the barcode. And I added the heart as I still have a big fucken crush on Kyle (though I heard he turned bad? I'm waiting for the tpbs of all that 52 stuff to come out. . . though the heart just makes him look like he loves turkey omg.)

So, Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the food and the football and that turducken thing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Let My People Go

Wow! In a desperate attempt to stall working on a paper prospectus, I went post crazy! I think it's cos Thanksgiving Break is in sight. . . urgh. . . One more day. Luckily, three of my four classes were canceled. Does it mean anything that the President of our school (known as PrezBo) cancels his class on the Wed. before Thanksgiving? Does it mean, maybe, they should just declare that part of the holiday? I guess not. . . Urgh. I also have an MSG headache.

Anyway, as you all know, I adore The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and I'm pretty sure I've posted this before, but this is one of the classic scenes, from the first season, really from the whole series. Highlights, besides the obvious:
  • "But I didn't like the upholstery, so I took it back, Jack."
  • Fucker is singing "MacArthur Park"!
  • Aunt Vivian taking off the earrings.
  • "Your grandchildren are gonna need lawyers."

Billy Bragg & Wilco: Mermaid Avenue & Mermaid Avenue Vol II

Woody Guthrie's daughter has Billy Bragg and Wilco write music for lyrics left behind by Woody. What happens?

Although Tweedy was indifferent to [Billy Bragg's collaboration] offer, Bennett was enthused about recording songs of one of his idols. . . Bragg mostly recorded the politically-charged lyrics, while Tweedy preferred to record lyrics that showcased Guthrie as a "freak weirdo."

Tempers flared between Bragg and Wilco after the album was completed. Bennett believed that Bragg was overproducing his songs, a sharp contrast to Wilco's contributions. Bennett called Bragg about the possibility of remixing Bragg's songs, to which Bragg responded with "you make your record, and I'll make mine, fucker." Eventually Bragg sent copies of his recordings to Chicago for Bennett to remix, but Bragg refused to use the new mixes on the album. The two parties were unable to establish a promotional tour, and quarreled over royalties and guest musician fees. [wikipedia]
So while the production sounds like the Clash of the Titan Egos, the products are wonderful. Nora Guthrie requested that-
Rather than recreating Guthrie tunes, they should write as if they were collaborating with Woody, creating new, vital music for the lyrics. . . . The results are almost entirely a delight, mainly because all involved are faithful to Guthrie's rowdy spirit -- it's a reverent project that knows how to have fun. There are many minor, irresistible gems scattered throughout the album, and most of them come from Bragg. Where Wilco's fine contributions sound inextricably tied to the '90s, both for better and for worse, Bragg's music sounds contemporary while capturing Guthrie's folk traditions. [allmusic]
So- here are Volumes 1 & 2. Hilariously, my sister burned Mermaid Avenue onto the same CD as a Misfits album, and when you're listening to the CD in the car, it's like going from the motel jacuzzi to the motel pool, which, full of peeing kids and chlorine, is for some reason still real cold.

It's all good, but here are. . . Mermaid Avenue Highlights: "California Stars", "Christ for President", "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key." Volume II Highlights: "All You Fascists", "Joe Dimaggio's Done It Again", "My Flying Saucer", and "Blood of the Lamb."
*Hey pretty boys n girls. I just realized NONE of the tracks are numbered. . . which means I haven't ever listened to either of them in order. Sorry about that!

Lars Frederiksen & the Bastards S/T

Speaking of Billy Bragg. . .

I don't think you need to be a working class hero to relate to this song; a good deal of the sentiments expressed can be applied each time the playing field is re-zeroed according to context. Blah blah. So here's Lars of Rancid doing that on his self-titled side-project 2001 release. Great album, not quite as solid or focused as the second release, but good production, classic Lars peacocking, and some great fist-pumping action. Enjoy!
My sister on the video:
[J]ust watched the lars vid and my first thought was lars is an awkward looking fellow, but then i realized its just bc his hair is the color of puke and he is glaring at the camera intensely the entire time while some other guys in it are looking a bit goofy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

VA: Breakfast on Pluto ST

If I wasn't a transvestite terrorist, would you marry me?

Been meaning to post this for awhile, mostly because I've been to listening to a few songs on this thing like a fool. For those who haven't seen Neil Jordan's Breakfast On Pluto, I'd like to recommend it enthusiastically. It's a beautiful film (not just cos Cillian Murphy is beautiful, but oh boy is he; in the months before the Batman film came out, all I was focused on was Who is that man playing Crane omf?), a colorful fairytale that spans the '60s and the '70s, and despite the tragedy and brutality of the majority of the story, showcases a fantastic range of human emotions and relationships and a generosity of human nature. Liam Neeson is also in it, which is usually, but not always, a plus. I appreciate the gentle nature of the movie, and am glad Patrick McCabe himself was responsible for the about-face the film makes from the book. While I do love the book, it's a tough read, emotionally and at times reading-wise (what would that be, intellectually?). If you want to get into Patrick McCabe, I suggest starting with Mondo Desperado, his collection of short stories set in the town of Barntrosna.

The song selection is good, though I'm not into all the songs. My favorites, the ones I've been listening to, are "Sugar Baby Love" (yeah, yeah), "Children of the Revolution", "You're Breakin' My Heart", and "Breakfast on Pluto." The other songs, not so much, but I think it all depends on the person, so check out the tracklist, see if you like anything, and try it out. Also included are two of the songs that the band in the movie plays, with Gavin Friday and Cillian Murphy on vocals. I wish they had included Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," so I've included it in the file.


Okay, I love this song and all, but I'm sorry, but I hafta vote this the worst music video I've ever seen. I honestly can't sit through it. It makes me want to tear my hair out. I'd rather watch Rihanna recycle every print ad cliche while going "ay-ay-ay" (Posh Spice! Ballerina! James Bond! Dodge water like a deodorant commercial! French maid? Casino Dealer? Burlesque routine! Huh? At least she's not wearing overalls over NOTHING.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Slackers: Better Late Than Never

Rounding out our trio of posts is the Slackers' 1996 debut, Better Late Than Never. I (heh-heh) haven't listened to this one as much as the other two, so I'm gonna defer to others for descriptions of the music (uh, so I can't find any reviews online. . . if anyone out there has any thoughts, love to hear them!). Significant is that-
The album was a notable debut for the band, paving the way for their eventual signing to Hell-Cat Records. It was also a significant departure from the Two Tone and garage rock influences of the band's early days, instead opting for a sound akin to the traditional ska acts of 1960s Jamaica [x].
In 2002 it was re-released with three extra tracks. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Jack White, Bob Dylan Rework Hank Williams Lyrics"

Jack White, Bob Dylan Rework Hank Williams Lyrics [Pitchfork]:
Mr. Bob Dylan is spearheading an initiative to set some of country legend Hank Williams' "lost" lyrics to music. (By "lost" he means "essentially, the lyric sheets Hank died with in his briefcase.") And Jack White of the White Stripes is involved

. . . Suchyta hinted that Willie Nelson and Norah Jones may very well also contribute songs, and that Dylan "no doubt" recorded a tune for the project during the sessions for last year's excellent Modern Times. No word on just what the end result of all this will look like. . .
A little wary of this, but because it made me think of Wilco & Billy Bragg's amazing work on the 2 Mermaid Avenue albums when they "reworked" Woody Guthrie (as requested by his daughter), a little excited to see what will happen. So I guess the question is, will it be as good and as respectful of Hank as Wilco and Bragg managed to be to/of Woody? (I got way too lost in the prepositions in that sentence. . .) And will they avoid the type of bizarro line-up that in turn made all of us avoid that Strummerville thing?

The Slackers: The Question

I'm glad people are enjoying these posts! As always, thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts :) Next up is The Question. Tracks include "And I Wonder"; the sorta passive-aggressive fuck-off,-life anthem "Have the Time"; the sunny "Do You Know" complete with scruffy tra-la-la; the Laurel Aitken-esque? "Mountainside"; and the Rancid-flavored "The Mummy." Another excellent, meaty offering from the guys.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Slackers: Redlight

I figure I'll start with the most solid of the three, 1997's Redlight. Each song is fantastic. I realized this when I was going to list my favorite tracks and saw that that was pretty much all of them. But if you pressed me, I'd recommend starting with "Married Girl" then heading on over to "She Wants to Be Alone" and then, to mellow out and explore a darker sound, "Soldier." Enjoy!

The Slackers

I've been noticing that there is a lack of attention given to The Slackers on the music blog-o-sphere rama-lama. . . ding dong thing. . ., or whatever the kids are calling it nowadays, so I'm gonna go ahead and post the 3 albums of theirs that I happen to have over the next few days. (Hopefully people will find something they like. I'm definitely passing on the favor of the kid who introduced them to me last year.) I'm *still* working on that paper, and waiting for the cheaper than dirt Japanese food place to open so I can order lunch. It's raining. I'll be getting these up over the weekend, prolly.

The Slackers are a well-known New York ska outfit, formed in Brooklyn in 1991 and headed by Vic Ruggiero (who has also done work with Rancid) and his easily recognizable voice. I am by no means a Slackers expert, but I've been lead to understand that the albums I have are some of the better ones. I haven't been able to get my hands on their newer stuff. From what I've been told "Married Girl" is one of their major tracks, and "Fried Chicken (Mary Mary)", another famous track, is only performed when they are in Brooklyn. Which makes me want to go see them; they seem like they'd be a great act. (And of course they're gonna be in NYC when I'm in LA for break.)
The Slackers [have] a solid feel for the Jamaican roots of the genre. The rythym [sic] section is extremely tight, with heavy bass, intricate drums and steady guitar. The horn section, including trumpet, trombone and saxophone will get you moving. If this isn't enough for you, I have saved the best for last. The funky Hammond B-3 organ is in full effect on this album and is truly a religious experience [acrudeboy]
The Slackers' "Have the Time." If you like this song, you'll easily like the rest of their stuff. Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Clip Night: "Well, Did You Evah?"

Dexter: Liz, you're in love with Connor aren't you?
Liz Imbrie: People ask the darnedest questions.
Dexter: Why don't you marry him?
Liz: I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear that.
Dexter: I said why don't you marry him?
Liz: He's still got a lot to learn. I don't want to get in his way for a while.
Dexter: Supposing some other girl comes along in the meantime.
Liz: I guess I'd just scratch her eyes out. Unless that is she was marrying someone else the next day.
Dexter: You're quite a girl Liz.
Liz: I don't know. I take nice pictures though.

Wednesday nights are one of my more busy nights, as I have to turn in "discussion questions" online that prove I did the reading. Which means I hafta go over the reading that I did indeed do and make sense of it. Was the Vietnam War a civil war according to the book we're reading? Well, according to the book we're reading. . . uh. . . lemme spend an hour checking.

Anyway, point was. . . something good. Point was I'm going to be trying not to slack off on posting and make sure I offer something that pops more often than not, so Clip night means that I'm so busy I'm trying to distract myself from the task at hand (discussion question and, oh yeah, paper due tomorrow. Have you started, B? Uh. . . well. . .) (I was gonna call it Youtube Night, but they ain't sponsoring me.)

This is a clip from High Society, a musical remake of The Philadelphia Story (which I have yet to see), and one of my favorite songs in general. Sinatra and Crosby doing Cole Porter's "Well, Did You Evah?" which Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop would go on to cover. Now, I might just be saying this because I am staunchly on the side of TEAM BING, but I think Frank suffers when put up against him vocally, in ease, sound, and carriage. The point though, is apart from that; keep an ear out for the banter and wit, and an eye out for the acting. Enjoy! (Celeste Holm, heads above Grace Kelly, and Frank also do a great number, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?")

You can also grab the mp3 from Any Major Dude With Half a Heart.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stiff Little Fingers

I got to see these guys last night at the Highline Ballroom, which wasn't as big of a pain in the ass to get to as I had thought it would be. My first time there, and a pretty cool, relaxed place: ins-n-outs, no scanner, no bag searches (which I will remember for next time so I can get some pictures). Crime: $4 PBRs. That said, Jake and the guys were great! Even though the songs are noticeably slower than the album versions, there's still the same energy; the band is way into playing the music, which is vital for the crowd to be way into the music. Even the girl behind my friend ("Who are they? Are they from IRELAND? Awright! Cool!") was into the whole thing; I think SLF puts on a show somebody who has never heard their music can have fun at. I still don't like the new style of singing that has appeared on their recent releases, which was only showcased once, with "Strummerville" but how can you bitch about a song about Joe? Also had a new song, "Liar's Club." They encored with their version of "Doesn't Make It Alright," so I figured I'd upload the Complete Peel Sessions, which includes that track.

Hahaha, I was trying to remember where this file came from, and I just googled it and it seems that I got it from the ever-awesome Jim a long time ago. So as always, big huge thanks to Jim :]

Stiff Little Fingers: The Complete John Peel Sessions

*Oops, sorry guys. Track 15 should be "No Change."

Monday, November 05, 2007


So in that vein, I figured I'd post some Dean Martin, specifically, a best of- comp that was released in 2004. Enjoy!

The Rat Pack's razor-witted King of Cool['s]. . . sublime, preternatural indifference is both underscored and belied with dizzying regularity on this good 30-track overview of Martin's singing career. The breezy hits "That's Amore" and "Volare" underscored his public staying power when many counted him out in the face of a surging 1950s youth market. He repeated the feat again with trademark effortlessness a decade later to knock no less than the Beatles off the top of the charts with the unlikely, if inviting schmaltz of "Everybody Loves Somebody." Ever informed by his warm, deceptive vocal ease, Martin's rich signature tunes are well-represented here. But the collection also spans enough lovable kitsch ("Mambo Italiano," "Little Old Wine Drinker Me") and unabashed romantic yearning ("Innamorata," "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On") to deepen the compelling mystery of one of pop music's most enduring ciphers. [Jerry McCulley]

Movies: Ocean's Eleven, Born Yesterday

I finally saw the original Ocean's Eleven (1960, Rat Pack, y'know) and I hate to say it, but I didn't find that it was as amazing as I had hoped it would be. It was more serious than I anticipated, for one, and I feel that the last half hour after the caper could have been cut. I'm trying to figure out it if was put in for moral reasons. Angie Dickinson was completely dropped from the plot after she verbally bitch-slapped The Other Woman; this was disappointing because I had hoped to see a lot more of her. I hate to say it (again), but I think the remake improves on the original by streamlining it and ending right after the heist (I think that was my big sticking point.) The high point of the film was Shirley MacLaine as the spunky "tipsy girl," who gets a quick scene with Dean Martin, who in the following youtube clip, pretends to work at the Sahara in preparation for the heist.

Watched Born Yesterday (1950) after Ocean's Eleven, which I want to enthusiastically recommend. Fabulous cast-- William Holden, Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford-- a lot of it carried by Holliday. Hilarious. (If you've ever wondered where Lina of Singin' in the Rain got her voice, it was from Jean Hagen's time as understudy to Judy Holliday during the Broadway run.) Here's the gin game from the movie; Judy Holliday adds a comedy to every move, from the handling of the cards to her focus on each of Billie's activities (stubbing out the cigarette). Broderick Crawford is excellent, too, growling and scowling.


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