Monday, March 31, 2008

Gen/Dis: Le Fin

Hey sweetpeas. The MIA is going to continue probably til the end of the week. I have the post Spring Break shitload of work blues. Here's the last installment of this month's Gen.Dis, wanted to throw it up here while it was still March. Enjoy! (Trying out this player, but you can access the songs direct via the titles.)

The Backseat of My Car [I Monster, feat. Marion Benoist of the Lovers]
Sheffield electronic duo I Monster pair up with Marion Benoist of Sheffield electronic band the Lovers for this track off of I Monster's excellent Neveroddoreven. It's flighty camp: creepy oompah instrumentals, weird sound effects, and Marion's sugary accent and breathy vocals.

Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head
[Kylie Minogue v New Order]
Probably on every girl's top 50 songs to get dressed to (as well as everyone's top 50 songs you don't want stuck in your head), and then add "Blue Monday" and you have sassy awesome pop perfection. I don't listen to much Kylie Minogue (actually, this and last week's post just encompassed the entirety of my Kylie library), but I have a lot of respect for her and she definitely knows what she's doing.

Bam Bam [Sister Nancy]
Billed as the first female DJ from Jamaica, Sister Nancy rose to prominence in the '80s. "Bam Bam" is her best known song, and for good reason. Like, seriously. Try not to sing along to it.

Lay My Down [Saint Bernadette]
Heard about this group, fronted by the super vocals of Meredith DiMenna, from Berkeley Place. Check out their Myspace for more songs. DiMenna's voice is husky, sexy, strong, and works perfectly for this uber-dramatic song. It's not a voice you hear everyday.

A New England [Kirsty MacColl]
I mean, it's Kirsty. Singing one of Billy Bragg's best songs. That he wrote extra verses 'specially for her. But, okay. If this is your first time, yeah, it's kinda 80s-tastic, but give it a few listens and it'll grow on you. I've come to prefer it over the Billy Bragg version. (Am I allowed to say that?) For an extra special bonus, hit up the BK for some "Train in Vain."

Miss Otis Regrets/Just One of Those Things [Kirsty w. the Pogues]
Uh. It's Kirsty. Singing Cole Porter. With the Pogues. Whose instruments add the perfect amount of drama to "Miss Otis," the drums giving the gallows-lynch scene a romantic rush that would make Foucault twitch. And considering that Kirsty + the Pogues = THIS, a song that makes grown men weep like babies, can you really argue, especially when Cole Porter has been thrown into the mix?

Clumsy Sky [Girl In A Coma]
Big huge thanks to Mister McCrank for bringing these ladies to my attention. Lead singer Nina Diaz has a gorgeous voice, a command and operatic quirk that a lot of female-fronted bands lack. Now, I don't think the Morrissey comparisons would have come if they didn't have that name or had opened for Mozzers, but I can see it, after the fact, in the flexibility and their indulgence of Moz's version of yelpy scat. This song is exciting and has a nice, dark, rushing pop punk feel to it without going overboard. I do want to go on the record as not liking their album art, though.

Femme Fatale [The Velvet Underground]
I have a lot of problems with Nico. We'll ignore Mr 15 Minutes and start with that she doesn't always hit the notes on the head. And then I had a problem with her when I was reading this book, but I can't remember what it is. But this song is pretty, and makes me appreciate the off-balance richness of Nico's voice.

Blues In the Night [Rosemary Clooney]
This is a great song whether it's sung by a lady or a man, and Rosemary Clooney's strong voice strikes a balance between a bluesy forlornness and a sultry feminine swagger that reminds you that even though this song is about the inevitability of the opposite sex fucking with you, this is one lady who won't let him get away with it.

Mr Bojangles [Nina Simone]
The High Priestess of Soul does Jerry Jeff Walker's classic over a simple backing track and a chorus of herself, I think. While she doesn't give the impression that she was in that cell in New Orleans with the fellow, there is still the nostalgia and longing that overcomes the sense of heard-it-from-a-guy that might have characterized her version.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gen/Dis Friday: Some Jazzy ish ness

Here's my Gender Discrimination Friday Post:

The Best Female Big Band Singers of the 40's

This is one of my favorite cds ever. All the songs are amazing. Songs by Anita O'Day, June Christy, Helen Forrest, and Helen O'Connell make up the bulk of it, but there is one each by Peggy Lee, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lena Horne too. My favorites are "Boogie Blues" [Anita O'Day] (lyrics: "We're going up to the country, can't take you/ nothing up there a man like you could do"--ouch!), "Tampico" [June Christy] (its a funny one), "I Told Ya I Love Ya Now Get Out" [June Christy again], "You You Darlin'"[Helen O'Connell], and "Why Don't You Do Right" [Peggy Lee].

get it here
get it on here

Lisa Ono: Dans Mon Ile: La musique francaise recontre la Bossa Nova

Found this one on the shelf at home... No one seems to know where it came from, but it's pretty good. Lisa Ono is a Japanese bossa nova singer, who has spent half her life in Brazil and half in Japan. This album is famous French songs bossa nova-ized, and includes a duet with Henri Salvador (famous French singer, who wrote "Dans Mon Ile") on "J'ai Vu." This album is calming, and cool, and quite nice and her voice is lovely and clear; I particuarly like "C'est Si Bon" and/et "J'ai Vu." Not too much a fan of kiddie choruses (Morrissey, it was a bad idea) unless they are on albums that are already trippy like Sandinista or are on We Sing tapes, but it kinda works, I guess, on "Salade de Fruits."

get it here
on amazon here

Josephine Baker: Anthologie

Here's another one I borrowed, copied, and returned to the public library. Josephine Baker is a pretty cool lady I think. Missouri-born, became a sensation and an citizen in France starting in the mid-twenties. Singer, dancer, all-round entertainer, and, according to wiki, was active in the French Underground during WWII, "smuggling intelligence to the resistance in Portugal coded within her sheet music," and was active in the US Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s (a precursor to Bragelina in having like a million adopted children from all over the world, see here). (and look at that outfit!)
Get her Anthologie here

Edith Piaf: Les plus grands succes de Edith Piaf

I just really like Edith Piaf. (and I haven't yet seen last year's movie on her though I've heard it's good)

get it here

Dianne Reeves: Good Night and Good Luck soundtrack

I really liked the film Good Night and Good Luck and the soundtrack is great. Dianne Reeves won a Grammy for it in 2005. She has an amazing voice, I saw her at Disney Hall once, she's wonderful.

get it here
buy it on amazon here

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rum Runner

I have this one friend I always go to Amoeba with, who likes to buy random cds in teh clearance section, and she has found some pretty good stuff that way. Me, I have less faith in the random buy, though I have made some pretty good impulse buys, for what is in my pocketbook... wallet? But last time I went, I was browsing through the clearance clearance section, and I found this one cd that I decided to buy purely b/c it had the song "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me" I know it as the song from Rio Bravo that Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson sing, that I would watch the youtube clip over and over again to hear bc I didn't have the song (now I have it!), but I wasn't sure what it would sound like on an album by a band called Rum Runner in the majorbigtime clearance section. But it looked promising, was on sale, and the album was called In Gun's At Cyrano's which, I seemed to remember, was the title of a short story by Raymond Chandler. Good nough for me!

And it was really good! The song was the song from Rio Bravo, the title was meant as an allusion to Raymond Chandler. Rum Runner is from Calgary, Canada, they are a punk band incorporating some folk/bluesy rock n roll (I'm not very good at describing or comparing musical types, sorry), and I think they are pretty darn good.

I am really annoyed at myself for leaving the linear notes/lyrics at school, bc I'd really like to put some of them here. But some highlights are "My Rifle, My Pony, and Me" (though the vocals obviously aren't as polished as Dean's or Ricky's, as Rum Runner's vocals are good but rough) and "Glass Heart Roller" (lyrics are great-- Buster Keaton, and some other neat people mentioned-- I really wish I had the linear notes with me, bc they are kinda hard to catch). I also like "These Tiny Hours," "So Long Outsider," and "The Visitor" minds me of noir-y stories, lyrically/subject-wise. There are no songs that I don't like, so give them a listen.

"My Rifle, My Pony and Me" [Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson] here
Rum Runner myspace
get In Guns At Cyrano's here
on amazon here (except I paid about 3 dollars for it.....)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Addicted to Falling in Love Again

"Falling In Love Again" is a the English language version of the German song "Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt" sung by Marlene Dietrich in von Sternberg's Blue Angel (Der blaue Engel).

So far, this semester at school, one of the songs I've been obsessed with was the Adicts' cover of "Falling in Love Again." (IT IS AMAZING!... I think so, at least..) I listen to it, a 6 minute song, on repeat over and over and over and over again. (I prolly drove the roommates insane with it, but then again I have to listen to their music too....)

So... here are both songs, the Adicts and the lovely Marlene's (in German):

Get Marlene's version here
Get the Adicts version here here

Get The Complete Adicts Singles Collection here
buy here
Get Lili Marlene
(a Marlene Dietrich cd all in German that i borrowed, ripped, and returned to the public library and cannot seem to find online) here

Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World

here's one for Arthur, via the Divine Comedy

(the link is working now, thanks to Jim for pointing out its previous knackered-ness)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Giving consequence to young women who have been slighted by other men....

Quickie post part II:

Ok so I'm a girl and I really really really like Jane Austen..... Every now and then I go on these Jane Austen binges where I read like 4 of her novels really fast and get in an odd unstable emotional state for a while, but um..... ANYWAY:

I really like Pride and Prejudice. Ok that is an understatement. I lovelovelove the book ( I have this amazing version with silly illustrations and notes. AMAZING). Hilarious. I lovelovelove the 1995 BBC/A&E miniseries-- I have been rewatching it obsessively since like the 4th grade. B hates it, everyone else in the family loves it, we all recite all the lines along with it and drive B absolutely crazy (BUT IT IS SO GOOD!). Bride and Prejudice was ok, more entertaining than good, I think (I like the gospel choir on the beach..). I have still refused to see the new P& P movie bc I can't stand Kiera Knightley... yeah I know I should get over it but.....

Music features prominantly in the BBC verison.So the soundtrack is amazing. Composed and conducted by Carl Davis, with Melvin Tan on the fortepiano (not a piano, mind you). It's brilliant, rich, lovely. And I know every scene, movement, and line every track is associated with.... My only complaints are it doesn't include all the music I wish it would (same complaint of many of the reviewers)... there are some dances, including Playfords' "Mr. Beveridge's Maggot" that would be nice to have, and the Marriage of Figaro song Lizzy sings at Pemberly, but, its still super good.

Get the Pride and Prej OST here
And on Amazon here

The W.B. Yeats/ Post Saint Pat's Day Post

Ok this is gonna be a quickie post-- I meant to write a bit more and make it nicer, but my computer is mad at me and I am behind on my readings on African resistance to colonialism.....
Ken left some lovely gifts and thoughts in the comments of the Saint Pat's Day post so go take a look see:

THE BUCKAROO BANZAI SOUNDTRACK!!! (link in comments of last post)
Yesterday, I got so caught up listening to the BUCKAROO BANZAI OST as soon as I downloaded (MY LIFE IS NOW COMPLETE) that I forgot to check on our corned beef for a bit... Whooops, but I think turned out just fine. I was watching Good Eats with Alton Brown last week on the FoodNetwork, in the middle of all the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives I was watching, and the topic was corned beef (I am postive I watched the same one last year). He had a rabbi and an Irish Catholic priest in a bar, and it was quite funny. Apparently (said the food anthropologist who always pops out, this time she was behind the bar) corned beef is something the Irish immigrants to America adopted from their Jewish neighbors in places like NY as a substitute for their side of Irish bacon... People in Ireland didn't eat it, and prolly couldn't really have if they wanted to because beef and salt were so expensive. Thought that was pretty interesting. I LOVE corned beef and the leftovers turned into corned beef hash. yummmmm.

AND two lovely lovely songs:
here's what Ken has to say:

It's funny how often Yeats is used as a resource or as inspiration for songwriters, two of my favorite songs are based on his poetry: Karan Casey - the Song of Wandering Aengus (Songlines) and the Waterboys with Tomas McKeown - the Stolen Child (Fisherman's Blues) - the poems are obviously incredible source material, but (for me, anyway) the performers really bring the emotions captured in the pieces to a focus - very tragic, very melancholy.

I quite agree, the tracks are truly lovely and W.B. Yeats is wonderful. I put the two songs with the Clancy Bros reciting "The Host of the Air," the Alias Acoustic Band with the "Easter 1916" from the St. P's Day post, and W.B. Yeats himself reading "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" and "The Song of the Old Mother" for a mini Yeats mix thing. You can grab that here.

And Nazz Nomad at Bleedin' Out posted a live X show recently here, so thanks very much to him!

And some post-Saint Patrick's Day babble:
I went to see the Young Dubliners at midday on Monday, performing at Pershing Square in Downtown LA at the end of a St. Patrick's Day parade (didn't know LA had one...). The concert started a bit late, bc they kept bringing out minor celebraties to say a few words (it IS LA, afterall), so I saw Robert Patrick (is that his name), Perry King ( I know him of the voice of Han Solo on the amazing NPR Star Wars radio drama), Eric Estrada, and some other people. Finally, the Young Dubliners played, and they were quite excellent. They played their own material, as well as "The Foggy Dew," "Waxies' Dargle" and a cover of the Pogues'"If I Should Fall From the Grace of God." And some other things I recognized... I can't remember what.... Anyway, quite good, it was a warm day, I attempted to work on my pitiful [lack of] tan.... (The weather here in LA has been pretty darn nice, mostly in the 70s, except for on Saturday, when I was hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains, and it started to hail, then snow considerably on us. I thought I had left New England... Guess I thought wrong. It was a pretty silly situation.)

Made me think of how, a couple weeks ago, an Boston Irish punk band, Pub Crawler, came to my campus and performed in a tiny tiny space, considering they had like 9 guys in the band. They were really good, so they should be checked out given the opportunity. They are kinda like the Tossers, from the little I have heard of the Tossers, and even played "Dirty Old Town" and "Sally MacLennane." They were especially a much appreciated break from all the overly earnest college radio type music you hear around campus. I personally think earnesty is overrated....

OH and PS, if anyone is ever planning to go to Little Toyko/ J-Town on a Monday in LA, DON'T. Everything is closed, I was planning on having a lovely bowl of cold somen after the concert for a very St Patrick's Day themed lunch... but our (notice the possesive-- it is MY resturant) was CLOSED. It was tragic. Ended up going to a different place, called Mr. Ramen and having a ramen and gyoza, but it was still tragic.

Ok now I am going to get back to reading about Africa in the colonial period, which I have been pretending to do for the last week...... Maji Maji Rebellion, here I come....

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Saint Patrick's Day's Post.

Here are a few things for Saint Patrick's Day.....

The Best of the Chieftains [The Chieftains]
Traditional Irish music, I got this a few years ago for Christmas-- It is very good. We saw them at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago, and the one with the funny hairdo in the center still had the funny hairdo (I think that one is Paddy Maloney). But they are fantastic, I mean, gosh, it's the Chieftains! Oh and, according to amazon, this release draws from 3 releases of the 70s, the last three releases which were strictly traditional music.
grab it here

Float [Flogging Molly]

So I was visiting a friend in Boston at the beginning of my break, and when we were in Cambridge ("our fair city") or Harvard Square or whatever, we went to Newbury Comics after having really really good burgers at Bartley's. I thought we were going to a comic book shop, but it turned out to be a record store. Which is fine. Being a Flogging Molly fan, I bought the new album. When the woman at the counter handed me my bag, I got super confused because there somethin heavy in the bag that seemed to be more than a cd. Well, it turns out, I got a free pint glass with my purchase of the cd. I think this might be just a Newbury Comics thing, so if you are gonna buy the album, and you can get to a Newbury Comics, buy it from them because nothing makes you (or maybe just me...) feel validated like a free pint glass. No siree bob.

As for Float itself, I can't say that I am super impressed. I've only listened twice and I wasn't paying attention either time, so I am reserving judgment, but it doesn't seem to be outstanding. It sounds good, but not amazing. I do like Flogging Molly a great deal. But give it a listen, tell us what you think. And get yerself a free pint glass.

get it here

1798-1998 Irish Songs Of Rebellion [The Alias Acoustic Band]
It's really really really good. I bought it on sale at Borders or something on whim. The first track includes a portion of the last stanza of W.Y. Yeats's "Easter 1916." I really like W.B. Yeats. I really like this cd. yup. On Amazon, there only seem to be the 2-disc-er versions, and mine is only 1 disc (disk?).
get it here


Top o' the Morning: His Irish Collection [Bing Crosby]
ok so a few of the songs are pretty kitschy, but... it's BING AND IT IS FABULOUS!

get it here

And I know it has been posted before, but it is a staple here and it is amazing. And the link is still working. Here's The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem: In Person At Carnegie Hall.

I know I'll be watching.....

The Quiet Man
I watch it every St. Patrick's Day, no matter how corny or whatever.... I LOVE John Wayne (gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) and John Ford and the rest of the usual John Ford companyand I wish I was more like Maureen O'Hara.

"St. Patrick's Day" from The Quiet Man (1952) (Traditional/Victor Young) (performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra with Itzak Perlman, conducted by John Williams)
(from Cinema Serenade II: The Golden Age, the entirety of which can be grabbed, as previously posted, from here)

or watch The Informer ... a earlier John Ford film, also with Victor McLagen, about a former IRA man turned informer. It's really good too.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Welcome to the team, DZ-015.

The other night I watched Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Really enjoyed it. Wow.
Visually, it is amazing. Characters are fantastic, and so is the acting (wow for the cast!). Jonathan Pryce as Sam Lowry is priceless. (that pun was absolutely unintentional-ignore it please) It's funny, dark, very good.

Brazil is about Sam Lowry, a man contented with his dead-end job at the Ministry of Information and in his escapes into fantasies (see above picture). In an effort to to correct a informational error, get his heating fixed, and pursue in real life the woman he sees in his dreams, Sam ends up with a partially unwanted promotion and in the position of working somewhat against the government and the system..... and ends up being accused of being a terrorist.

Brazil, according to Rottentomatoes:
BRAZIL is Terry Gilliam's masterpiece. Cowritten by Gilliam, playwright Tom Stoppard, and Charles McKeown, the cult-favorite film is set in a futuristic society laden with red tape and bureaucracy. When a bug (literally) gets in the system, an innocent man is killed, leading mild-mannered Sam Lowry (an excellent Jonathan Pryce) to reexamine what he wants out of life. He decides to fight the totalitarian system in his search for freedom--and the woman he loves. The terrific, offbeat cast features Robert De Niro as a renegade heating engineer; Katherine Helmond as Sam's ever-younger mother; Michael Palin as a government-sanctioned torturer with a distaste for upsetting the status quo; Bob Hoskins as a vengeful Central Services employee; Jim Broadbent as a wacko plastic surgeon; the wonderful Ian Holm as Sam's nerve-ridden, pitiful boss, afraid of his own signature; and Kim Greist as the rebel Sam falls for. The look of BRAZIL is relentless, overwhelming, and outrageously spectacular. Giant monoliths rise from the street; government offices are a network of computers, pneumatic tubes, and narrow hallways built with Nazi-like precision; and apartment complexes are a maze of washed-out grays and numbers, all frighteningly uniform. The terrorist explosions actually bring color into this dull, monochromatic world. BRAZIL is a nightmare vision of the future, yet also hysterically funny and incisive, one of the most inventive, influential, and important films of the

Oh, Robert De Niro as the outlaw/vilgiante heating engineer Harry Tuttle is magical. I'm kind thick and didn't even realize it was De Niro until the credits.
"I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light, get in, get out, wherever there's trouble, a man alone."
on youtube here
I'm way into Robert De Niro right now, though rather inactively. I was watching Raging Bull on ESPN Classics, and I saw Taxi Driver at the beginning of the semester for the first time. Wow, was that a good movie. And wow was he young. And wow was he cute. yessir he was. (and now I have the Clash stuck in my head...)

There is a nice breakdown of the movie, with regards to cyberpunkness,and in general, too, here. (plus there are really nice screencaps)

I was watching this on-the-set documentary/featurette that comes on the second disc of the fancy 3 disc magical Criterion edition, and Tom Stoppard talked a bit. He wrote one of the script versions for it, but it was funny b/c you could sense the tension, both when he and Gilliam talked, between them with regards to their ways of working and their ideas. I saw Stoppard's Arcadia performed at school before the break, and I am in love with Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead.... So I thought I'd mention that.....

So if anyone has the soundtrack to Brazil or any copies of the song "Brazil" (the featurette had a nice version by Helen O'Connell-- I don't have that song but wait for some things from her on Gen/Dis Friday), I'd love to have them and post them. I tried finding the Brazil soundtrack but all I found were links to bit/torrent/whatever that is, I'm not sure.

AND, on a side note, according to IMDB, Ellen Barkin was considered for playing Jill, and was Gilliam's favorite audition. Ellen Barkin, Penny Priddy, BUCKAROO BANZAI. The AMAZING walking theme to Buckaroo Banzai is on the sidebar, if anyone has the entire soundtrack and wants to share I will worship you forever....

Also, Ian Holm is was in Brazil..... I like Ian Holm a ton because he was the voice of Frodo in the BBC radio play of The Lord of the Rings (here, and previous post here, but I don't think the links are working anymore..?), which is fantastic, and is the hilarious priest Vitto Cornelius in THE FIFTH ELEMENT, a movie which I have been obsessed with since Decemeber 31, 2007 and probably watched 5 times in the month of January. I found the OST here, third one down, have not given it a listen yet though.

The fellow, Ian Richardson, who plays Bill Haydon in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was in Brazil. I'm obsessed with that too, don't think I will ever get over it. or John Le Carre/ George Smiley and the Circus in general......

whoa whoa whoa. After doing some more IMDB and wiki stalking:
Ian Richardson played Polonius in Rosencrantz and Guildernstern Are Dead (the film)
Ian Holm played Polonius in the Zeferelli/Mel Gibson Hamlet.
Both Ians were in From Hell (which I have not seen). Weird, man. BUT I guess I shouldn't find it too surprising that two good British actors named "Ian" that I like should actually be in movies.....

I also watched, being a TCM addict, Blowup the other night. Directed by Italian Michelangelo Antonioni and with David Hemmings as a mod London photographer who may have photographed a murder that Vanessa Redgrave's character may have been involved in.

It was good, some parts were odd. And the Yardbirds appeared in it. My dad pointed out a young Eric Clapton.... and I went "which one?"... I think it speaks to my age and my musical upbringing (my dad never had us listen to any Clapton or Yardbirds or anything... I know Derek and the DOmino's "Layla"-- I used to be able to play it, but that's it...) at I still didn't know which guitarist he was pointing at. The one who was smashing his guitar? (wiki says that was Jeff Beck and seems to indicate that Clapton was gone by the time they were in Blowup ... I didn't even know Jeff Beck or Jimmy Page were in the Yardbirds... whatever. I don't know anything about the Yardbirds.) I'm not sure. But it was good, even if the main character, the photographer was kinda a jerk. I know I'm gonna have to watch it later for my Film History Class, so I'll think about it then.... But it was good. Soundtrack by Herbie Hancock, which seems odd for a mod movie? But what do I know about Herbie Hancock anyway? Very little.

here are someone's thoughts on it, as well as some clips, I think, if you click on the screenshots?

Two nights ago, TCM was playing Bunny Lake is Missing, which I watched the end of, which apparently had The Zombies in it, Robert Osbourne said so, but I didn't see that part. Oh well.

Oh and P.S. To second what B said previously, GO SEE IN BRUGES! It's really good and it's got Townes. And its really good. It is dark dark dark dark, but it is very funny at times and it is just a pretty darn good movie.

I'm coming over, so move over.

X is one of my favorite bands and since I'm super jealous of whoever is at SXSW and got to see X on Friday and yesterday.... here is Wild Gift by X. Out of the albums I have, it is the one I have listened least to, as I have only have it for a few months. So I don't know it as well as some of the other albums.

Wild Gift (1981) was X's second album, it has a similar feel to Los Angeles (1980). Erm, I am a big fan of John Doe and Exene Cervenka's lyrics, and John Doe's voice especially, but Exene's too,and also of the effect of John's and Exene's voices together. And most things about X in general....

"When Our Love Passed Out On The Couch" is good, "The Once Over Twice" is a good one, "We're Desperate" is fun, "Universal Corner." My favorite of the moment is "In This House that I Call Home."(my, we're using strong words today, aren't we? good? like? super jealous? Sorry guys, it's a Sunday morning...I'm not really sure how that is an excuse but....). Aw, heck, all the songs are good, it's a solid album, just give em all a listen.

Or you could listen to the editorial review:

Though a small handful of its 13 songs predate Los Angeles, X's second album represents a giant leap forward for the band. Wild Gift stands as one of the 1980s' most fully realized rock & roll LPs. John Doe and Exene Cervenka bring altogether more personal and biting lyrics to the mic, making for riveting, curiosity-promoting performances. ("If I wrote a song like 'White Girl,'" Doe tells critic Kristine McKenna in this remaster's liner notes, "there was an unspoken pact that this may happen, but I love you more.") From the metallic riff of "It's Who You Know" to the surf-wise lines of "In This House That I Call Home," guitarist Billy Zoom is given freer rein, while drummer D.J. Bonebrake fuses the Ramones and Beefheart to enduring effect on "We're Desperate" (improved from an early single version by a slight lyric change). And "Back 2 the Base" and "Year 1" stand out as two of the most complex statements about punk's icon-smashing impulses ever. The 45-rpm take of "We're Desperate" is included here, along with six other bonus tracks. Shut up and smoke. --Rickey Wright

grab Wild Gift here (the reissue here features some demos/live/single versions)
Buy at Amazon here (the linear notes have some nice interesting recollections plus the lyrics, so buy it!)

oh oh oh oh
Two of the songs that appear as demos on the reissue of Los Angeles are from this album. I've listened to Los Angeles so many times that it the versions on this album almost sound weird.

For some fun (or something), compare Los Angeles's "I'm Coming Over" to the version on Wild Gift (here), and Los Angeles's "Adult Books" to Wild Gifts's (here)!

The mustache is still there... :(

There was an article on the LA Times today about Nick Cave.

I mostly mention this because I saw the picture of him on the front of the Calendar: Arts & Music section and I got very excited because I thought the mustache was gone. I'm really not a fan of gratuitous facial hair (apologies to anyone who is...)

It's not gone. It was just an old picture.

Nick Cave still has the mustache. Bummer, man.

People really ain't no good. I can see it in his mustache.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Jackson/Guest-Post 1

Hey Howdy Hey!

So I was clicking on random links on the site, and I saw that in the Gen/Dis Fridays: Fish and Bicycles Sampler, the link for the Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash selection sent you to the Barbra Streisand/Ryan O'Neal file. Its a fantastic song, but perhaps doesn't merit a second link at the expense of Johnny and June. And since I am nearly computer illiterate, or otherwise seem to be locked out of editing past entries, here is a new post dedicated to all the copies of "Jackson" I could find on my computer:

Live version, from At Folsom Prison here (the version b seems to have wanted to post, with the awwwww "I like the way you talk" part)

The not-live version from The Legend of Johnny Cash here

and from the Walk the Line OST, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon doing "Jackson" here.

I was going to post this lovely Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash duet CD I have, before I realized it is just that, the CD that I have (well, CD-R), back in my CD case-thinger in Maine and that I don't have it on my computer where I am... Sorry....

Hear ye

Thanks, Tom.

I had a second post planned, but I've run outta time and I'm going to delay it until week 4, as I'm shipping off for a week of spring break. But don't worry, you won't be stuck with Disney songs all week (but seriously, at least get the Amy Irving track!)

C(aitlin), the coolest kid you're ever going to meet, will be guest posting this coming week, including covering my ass for next week's Gen/Dis Friday. So stop by and check out what she's got. She has much better music taste than I do, so maybe we'll even get more visitors. No pressure, Caitlin, but I expect the traffic to increase by at least two people.

+ Ken was awesome and kind enough to share some of his favorite guy/gal duets, which you can grab here. Sez Ken:
X - Los Angeles (the interplay of John and Excene's voices was revolutionary at the time the song was released), Carrie Rodriguez and Chip Taylor - Keep Your Hat on Jenny (Their voices are so different, I'm not quite sure why their collaborations work - but they sure do), and the Gougers - Baby (They have the BEST harmonies since Gram and Emmylou.)
Definitely check those songs out.

Gen/Dis Fridays: Disney

If you thought we'd get through Gen/Dis without some Disney, sorry. It's early in the game, but I'm leaving for the old spring break tomorrow and wanted to make sure I got this up. (I guess that was supposed to be an excuse, but it didn't come out as one.) No, but really. I have picked out some high class Disney stuff for you pretty things. Check it. Oh yeah, and number one Disney dame? Jessica Rabbit. Love her and her Veronica Lake hair. I mean, just try to argue it.

"Why Don't You Do Right?" [Amy Irving, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?]
She's not bad, okay? She's just drawn that way.

"I Won't Say I'm in Love" [Susan Egan, Cheryl Freeman, LaChanze, Vaneese Thomas, Lillias White, Hercules]
Hercules, I think, is often overlooked (though well reviewed) and has some great songs, most with the zippy gospel-flavored Muse vocals-- lotsa fun. Unfortunately, it was up against Titanic that year, so as you can imagine. . .

"Poor Unfortunate Souls" [Pat Carrol, The Little Mermaid]
"Part of Your World" [Jodi Benson, The Little Mermaid]
Ah, the Little Mermaid. I had Health teacher who looked like Ursula, except she was pink. But putting that aside, Ursula is hilarious and very wicked ("baaahdy laaangwige.") Now, Jodi Benson could do a better job convincing me that she really forgot what a street was called, but she has a lovely voice.

"He's a Tramp" [Peggy Lee, Lady and the Tramp]
Okay, yes, the dogs howling and wailing in the back are a little obnoxious. This is a naughty little song, but according to Wikipedia, the movie's more than that. Apparently there's an implied sex scene. I never really thought about how all those babies appeared. My childhood just went right out the window.

"Let's Get Together" [Hayley Mills, The Parent Trap]
THIS MOVIE HAS MAUREEN O'HARA. And Brian Keith (waaatch it). And that Hayley Mills girl. Who is awesome in The Trouble With Angels. I had a friend whose parents were big Hayley Mills fans, I think, or whatever it is that explains about 75% of the movies we watched at her house just happening to star Ms Mills. And omg, she's singing with herself. Like there's really two of them.

"So This is Love" [Ilene Woods & Mike Douglas, Cinderella]
I haven't seen Cinderella in a long long time, but this is classy stuff. I'm not 10 so I don't know who they are, but the Cheetah Girls covered this song. (Oh jeez. I just looked it up on Youtube. For the love of Mickey, don't make the same mistake.)

"Best of Friends" [Pearl Bailey, The Fox & the Hound]
I haven't seen this movie in a long time either, but I remember it is completely tragic. (Oh, wait, I thought one of them died. I guess not. Okay, here's the last time I saw the movie: at the Boys and Girls Club when I was like, two feet tall.) But Kurt Russell is in it. And Pearl Bailey was, after all, the Ambassador of Love.

"Beauty and the Beast" [Angela Lansbury, Beauty and the Beast]
It blew my mind when I found out Briscoe was the candle guy. But here we have Angela Lansbury being a cute and wise teapot who knows about love.

"Feed the Birds (Tuppence A Bag)" [Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins]
Say what you will about Julie Andrews, but she has a wonderful voice and a wonderfully warm personality. This song is absolute magic, and evokes some of the dark cityscape that you see in this movie but never remember because all you remember are those weird cartoon people with studs on their clothing. Somebody's gonna tell me that was the most important pre-WWI fashion with deep socioeconomic implications. (Ha! Yeah! Sing-a-long!) What a weird movie. Gotta love it.

"Love" [Nancy Adams, Robin Hood]
This song is pretty! It was up for an Oscar in 1974, and definitely deserves better than the critics give. Those grumps.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Assassination of Jesse James

Finally saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford the other night. Not only does it have a long name (which I like) it's a long fucken movie (160 minutes.) And it feels long. It's a good movie, but it could have used a bit of paring down, though I don't want to say that they shoulda 86ed the scenery cos it was gorgeous. Maybe some of the sitting in the dark and staring at nothing.

They've collected a great cast, plus Nick Cave, made Bob Ford into a tragic, tormented stalker/glory-seeker and Jesse into an unstable tragic martyr. So, another mythic film to add to the Jesse James film canon. Rounding out the cast are Sam Shepard (for like 10 minutes), Garret Dillahunt, and Sam Rockwell. I spent the whole movie staring at him trying to figure out who he was. Sam Rockwell. Duh. Nick & Warren continue to prove that they have a great sense of timing and atmosphere, though I wasn't as violently in love with the music as I am with their Proposition work. (Link from Sept is still working.)

I was hoping the soundtrack would include Nick singing "Jesse James" but I don't think it does. So here are a few Jesse James songs that I found on my computer. Clubland thinks he's the rudest rude boy of them all. . . The Pogues version is the folk song that you hear Nick Cave singing. You can hear Bruce Springsteen singing it at the excellent Honey, Where You been So Long? You can grab the Soundtrack from Stupid & Contagious.

Of course I watched the movie with a kid who thinks Nick Cave is a dick and doesn't listen to him, which I always find odd because this kid should, looking at him, like Nick Cave's stuff. I'm doing my best to get this kid to see The Proposition, which has become one of my essential movies, even if Caitlin did have to drag me to see it.

I'm trying out divshare. Tell me what you think of it. As opposed to zshare.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Request: Warsaw

Shoutout to Balbulus & the Kent Band Archive. Hope this helps!

1994 reissue of compilation of early recordings. . . by Warsaw, an early moniker for the Mancunian act Joy Division.This pressing features 17 raw, but respectable cuts, including five bonus tracks. []

Warsaw was [Joy Division's] planned debut album. . . Recorded in May 1978, it consisted of eleven tracks. [D]isappointed by the post production done by RCA producers. . . the album was scrapped. [wikipedia ]

Friday, March 07, 2008

Gen/Dis Fridays: Ella & Louis

"Ella Fitzgerald's voice was satin to Louis Armstrong's sandpaper. . . [W]hen you put them together on a single song, their chemistry was unimpeachable." [Douglas Wolk]


I'm with you dudes and dudettes. Which is why I decided to keep Ella and Louis outta the mix and instead put up a full album. I hate the cover of this comp (I'm sorry, that doesn't look like Ella and Ella is awesome so don't mess with her), but it collects a bunch of essential tracks, including "Cheek to Cheek," "Plenty O Nuttin," and, you know. . . every other song on here. Enjoy! (Tracklist in Comments)

Okay, Sharebee and I aren't speaking at the moment, but as soon as it decides to be reasonable and upload my files, I'll go back to it faster than. . . something. For now, back to Rapidshare.

Gen/Dis Fridays: Fish & Bicycle Sampler

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle? Fuck that shit. I got ten songs for you pretty things featuring boys and girls together, where the collaboration enhances the end product. By no means comprehensive, but I hope you like it anyway! Anybody out there got any favorite female/male duets?

"You're the Top" [Barbra Streisand + Ryan O'Neal]
Okay, guys, I don't know how to say this, but Peter Bogdanovich's What's Up, Doc?, starring Streisand & O'Neal as well as introducing Madeline Kahn, is probably one of the funniest moves ever, period. It's definitely up there in my top ten, and anybody who says it isn't funny probably has a sense of humor the size of the Grinch's heart if the Grinch was as tiny as Ray Palmer can get. It's a remake/inspired-by of Bringing Up Baby, but better-- I know, I know. How could it be better? Frankly, Streisand's character is a lot more likable than Hepburn and the entire film has a lot more subtleties of humor and performance. (Take, for instance, the guy with the golf clubs. Just watch 'im.) You can also take that comment as, if Bringing Up Baby is the pinnacle of screwball comedies, and What's Up, Doc? is better, just imagine how good it is! (That takes fancy math, I know.) This version of the Cole Porter song has Barbra belting it out, then playfully duetting in character (Judy) with O'Neal's Steve Howard.

"Hitsville UK" [the Clash: Mick Jones + Ellen Foley]
Ellen was dating Mick during the making of Sandinista! The combination of the two voices makes for an exciting, melodic sound, and further brings out Mick's memorable single-word commentary (everybody's favorite part.) Play this song for your friends and they won't believe it's that band that did that London Calling song. Attestation to the diversity and skill of the only band that matters.

"Bluebird" [Blanche: Mr + Mrs Miller]
In this song, one of my favorite (and cutest) couples in music, Dan John and Tracee Mae, do a back and forth regarding the destructive capabilities of outside forces on fidelity. The speaking in between the lyrics forms a meta-relationship; the speaking couple's bluebird tells the woman that he would die for her, whereas the singing couple's bluebird advises her to flee. Unlike If We Can't Trust the Doctors' ode to paranoia and jealousy "Do You Trust Me?", in "Bluebird," Tracee Mae's smooth voice and Dan's more conversational, quirky vocals results in a happy ending. he song is effective enough to convince me that, even though this is Blanche, this happy ending is here to stay. I guess that isn't surprising. Whatever Blanche is looking to evoke, they play for keeps.

"(Get Your Kicks) On Route 66" [Bing Crosby + the Andrews Sisters]
The Andrews Sisters recorded many songs with Bing, including "Don't Fence Me In" and "Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive." Listen to all four be totally hip about motoring out West. Quite a change for someone who mostly listens to the Cramps' twilit throbbing version.

"I Should Have Known Better" [She & Him: Zooey Deschanel + M. Ward] (Beatles Cover)
Zooey sings this with a smile on her face and duets with herself, and M Ward does a kinda creepy multi-voice but cool supplementation, all over a chill the Beatles sail off into the Hawaiian sunset feel. From the upcoming She & Him album Volume 1. I've become a big fan, so you'll be seeing these two around here in the future.

"Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" [Frank Sinatra + Celeste Holm]
Picture from Tom & Lorenzo, which also features a pretty mean but very funny summary of the film with pictures. I hate to say this, because Cole Porter's music in the film is superb, but High Society isn't exactly a classic. Grace Kelly is gorgeous but about as subtle in her acting as an elephant seal, and the female role really sparkles with the adorable and awesome Celeste Holm's character Liz (who "wears dowdy clothes in order to make Grace look better. She's thoughtful that way.") This duet (watch it here) has reporters Frank and Celeste checking out Grace Kelly's ridiculous silverware, including a very mysterious silver thing.

"Where the Wild Roses Grow" [Nick Cave + Kylie Minogue]
This song from Murder Ballads pairs Australian super-people Kylie Minogue and the latest proponent of the crazy 'stache, the one and only Mr Nick Cave. Check out the glowy video.

"I Never Talk to Strangers" [Tom Waits + Bette Midler]
This song puts the two on equal footing, navigating the usual Tom Waits' vocal acrobatics, going from singing to sing-song and all over the scale with astounding ease. Available on Foreign Affairs.

"Jackson" [Johnny Cash + June Carter Cash]
"I like to watch you talk." Omg awww. This one kinda goes without saying. I know I'm not the only one who gets all weepy at that one part in this video. But none of that now! Listen to the adorable banter and the fab song and enjoy!

"Well Did You Evah!" [Iggy Pop + Debbie Harry]
This revamped version retains the cheekiness of the original. This was recorded for the AIDS awareness Red Hot + Blue Cole Porter tribute album, and marks the second appearance on this list of a song from High Society as well as the third Cole Porter song. Sweet. Check out the Alex Cox-directed music video that also features a quick background of the song and Debbie calling Iggy "Jim."

Gen/Dis Fridays: Fish & Bicycle

So, here's the theme of the first Gender Discrimination Friday! I think it says it all, and then we can go from there :) You can see the complete strip here. I'll have a mix & an album up by the end of the evening, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 03, 2008

White Kids Aren't Hyphy

i wish I was a little bit hyphy, i wish E-40 liked me, i wish i didn't crash going ghostriding nightly

I'd say the title of this MC Lars song says it all, but actually, the lyrics do. This song is laugh-aloud hilarious, hitting up basic hyphy things (themes? ideas? pop culture moments? locations?) as he does the usual MC Lars good-natured, cheeky thing and getting in good-natured yet pointed digs at everyone.

Says trashcanman, MC Lars should be president. . . Lars raps about the things he cares about and understands: science fiction, romantic confusion, musical passion, punk and metal, the state of hip-hop music etc. Through clever sampling (remember the old-school "Tetris" theme?), hysterically funny and relevant lyrics with absolute truth behind them, and pure passion MC Lars is taking the music game back for the fans one song at a time.

He's great fun, this self-described father of "post-punk laptop rap." Check his album out, The Graduate.

And this is the only annotation I can really provide (I'm not a white kid, but I'm still not hyphy, yadidamean), so here goes (click on the links.)

chillin with Bubb Rubb, in his tricked out hummer kids yell 'YEE,' the whistles go 'WOO' don't know what I just said on this verse, do you?

*ah ha, sorry guys, the file's mispelled, stick an 'h' in there*

*Aaand, thanks to Ken for reminding me, but I did a real disservice by not including this live performance of the song, where Lars explains the background and from what I can tell, though the camera isn't cooperating, supplements his song with a PowerPoint.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cast King

I've avoided posting this because I wanted to do a write-up, but three months after hardcore impulse buying this album (I read about it and went and bought it. It was madness.) I still can't come up with how to convey just how amazing this album is. It's low-key, spare, and gentle. Think the best of the Johnny Cash American series, take all the songs off that that pierce your heart, then add an extra dose of starkness, loss, and all those things, with that clear-eyed Hank Williams feel (directly channeling him on "Low Low Blues.")

The lyrics on Saw Mill Man deal more in painful memories than painful experiences. Our reflexes numb us to the former. The latter hang in there and devour us. The booze brings the pain out of the beaten man’s chest and places it beyond his control.

There’s some elegantly inspired guitar work from Downer and drums on one track. King and his acoustic rule the record, but can’t govern its outer territories. The negative space cries out like the wind on a clear night. These songs have been lonely longer than they’ve been alive. [Emerson Dameron]

Cast King passed away late last year. An mp3, "Saved," which I've also included here, was offered on his label's website, along with a PayPal button for donations to help with hospital and funeral expenses, but I haven't been able to find the button, and by this point the mp3 looks to have been taken down. Hopefully this means they were able to meet their goal. Cast King had been planning a gospel album ("not the kind you’d see on television, he’d say, but the kind that really gets to a man’s soul"), and "Saved" gives an example of what we'll be missing.

I strongly encourage you to purchase this album if you like what you're hearing. Probably one of the best $8.99 I've spent. You can also buy it directly from the label.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Vampire Weekend

I PROMISE WE'RE NOT ALL LIKE THIS. Like, we're not all from the East Coast, in the first place. And I've never been to Cape Cod. (But this song is kinda good. Don't tell anyone I said that. Actually, I missed the hype about these guys. But in this picture they're in the building named after this sexy beast where I have a class on the seventh fucken floor. Now that is a pain in the ass.) Posting this album is actually my super top secret plan to prevent accumulation of profit (all .004 cents this represents) so they can't donate it to the alumni fund and make them rename our student union Vampire Weekend Hall.

I'm just kidding. Remember, delete it and buy it if it strikes your fancy.


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