Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I'm takin a day off today to go to the post office and eat somewhere that isn't riddled with work stuff for a change. I might post a song later, but this documentary* is crazy enough to tide you over, I'm sure.

* I don't know how much of it is indisputably true, but there's enough solid evidence in what's presented to make it pantswettingly scary in its application. and hee's a little scene from spaced to take away the terrifying edge when you're done.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

unfair fighting

I know I've been rambling a lot about my dreams lately, and I apologize. I have no intention of turning this into cotton's hippie dream journal, but it's rare enough that I remember my dreams, even rarer when I wake up and just say "what the fuck was that about?" Case in point: Last night I had a dream that I was going around setting people up on blind dates...with fast food mascots. Invariably, they were pissed and got into fistfights with the mascots. I was filming it and would pop out at the end of the fight to tell them they were on candid camera or whatever, and oddly avoiding a beating of my own. There was Hamburglar, Ronald McDonald, Jack in the box, etc... I guess I should be thankful that the Grimace didn't make any appearances, but something tells me that he's rooted far deeper in my subconscious and won't reveal himself until I completely snap at a crying child in a movie theater or something. It should also be mentioned that this was just one facet of a dream which also involved several fictional TV characters (sigh), and a lengthy chase by drug-crazed Hell's Angels across an amusement park. I don't think I could make something up like this if I tried, though i bet watching It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World the other night probably had some sort of zany contribution. So yeah, I'm still sorta getting over that...
There's an interesting article over at the Huffington Post (i know, I know...) about Starbucks switching to 10% recycled cups and cup sleeves in an effort to preserve paper goods. Just by soing this 5.5 lbs of recyclable paper is going to be sent to a landfill. Which means if they upped it to 50% there'd be 27.5 million tons saved. It's so easy to forget how much of an impact even the slightest chance in corporate consumerism can have on conservation efforts and environmental concerns. I'm thinking especially about the article in the Guardian a few years ago about howMcDonald's, just by including apples in happy meals, affects everything from the global price to availability of certain kinds of apple and the sustainablility of small-scale growers. That's terrifying to me. Can you think of a bar that recycles? I can't. and I spend a pretty healthy (erm...) amount of time in bars. This might be an east coast thing, but it's so annoying to think of how little effort it would take to introduce a recycling program in the places that seem to go through the most amount of glass.
In other news, the Washington Post creeps back ever-so-slightly into my good graces with a great op-ed (seriously, sending Condi over there to negotiate a settlement while we're rush-delivering weapons to one side of the conflict is the most insane thing I 've ever heard. I'm willing to bet this is the work of a jackass think tank or the New Century assholes.
Oh, adn Arlen Specter's still just itching to show you he's not afraid to cross party lines and standup to the president (and quietly give up when the president offers an airtight excuse like "because I felt like it).

So anyway, who doesn't like Pulp? Jarvis Cocker (along with Craig finn) might be the greatest songwriter since Tom Waits went totally batshit a few years ago. It looks like they've broken up again, which kills me because I never was fortunate enough to see them live. These recordings (from La Route du Rock on August 8, 2001) only further convince me of this. Two of these tracks are from what is easily my favorite Pulp album (though one that is generally not as well liked) and the third is from their last one, which also has the greatest video ever made. This version of "A Little soul" has a great slide guitar that isn't on the album version, and I can only assume it's being played by Richard Hawley. So yeah, here's some pulp.

"A Little Soul" (live) - Pulp
"Help the Aged" (live) - Pulp
"Bad Cover Version" (live) - Pulp

Buy This is Hardcore and We Love Life here and here, respectively.

in other news, anyone near Philly who's a fan of Tom Goes to the Mayor should totally head over to the Franklin Institute on friday. Personally, I think they're insane, but that won't stop me from checking out whatever they've got planned for an aquarium.

Monday, July 24, 2006


In a completely expected move, my cell phone has succumbed to the forces of evil (and moisture. Probably more moisture than evil) and refuses to work, which means that I’ve got about a dozen pictures of swimming polar bears that may never see the inside of my flickr account. Hopefully I’ll have fixed it by the weekend so I can get away with just posting a picture or something.

I had a nice enough weekend. Got to sit through the worst storm I can think of in recent history, hang out on the porch with some friends drinking beer and arguing the merits of Springsteen with E Street Band Vs. Springsteen without, and play with my sister’s dog for a day. In all, I really can’t complain about my complete lack of going out.

Good news in that in addition to repairing my ipod, I also got a new one, which I got to load up with my hard drive at home, which I haven’t really accessed for he better part of a year. Which means there’s a whole bunch of stuff I wasn’t even aware I still had. Obviously, most of it isn’t that new, but there’s some great stuff that I forgot completely about, and hopefully so did you. Don’t worry, my HMS Pinafore soundtrack is completely intact. Seriously.

It’s absolutely gorgeous today. I mean it’s freakishly beautiful out, and it makes me just wanna bounce my head off the corner of my desk that I’m inside right now. But I gotta accept the good with the bad and just hope that the weather will be this nice for my three day weekend. Current forecast: scattered showers for Friday and Saturday. Shit. So yeah, I’m gonna go out for a little fresh air after this, but here’s some links to keep you otherwise entertained:

-Philly journalist extraordinaire Will Bunch has some good stuff over at Attytood, including notice of the passing of the late, great Mike Royko

-Someone finally invented a Meth Gun*

-too easy for a punchline.

Oh, and head to Paper Thin Walls for a some music news.

Ween is a band that I have a lot of love for, and not only because they wrote the most endearing ode to Philly since... (god, I really don't wanna say "South Street" by the Orlons). I'm not gonna go into why I like them and why everyone else should because they're a pretty polarizing band and I could see why someone else wouldn't like them. These songs are from the 1996 tour they played in support of 12 Country Golden Greats with the country music legends whom they recorded the album with. It was a short tour, because come on those guys were like in their late 70s at the time, but the results were astounding and earned Stu Basore an unlikely following amonst hippie stoner kids. These songs are from a show in Toronto that they released officially through their own Chocodog records. It's now out of print, but these tracks should stand as testament to how great everything sounded on this tour. 2 things that crack me up about Ween: a)the band supposedly named themselves after a combination of their 2 favorite words, "Wuss" and "Peen", and b)they constantly introduce their next song they're about to play as "'(song title)" by Ween'". I don't know, I just think that's funny.

"Japanese Cowboy" - Ween

"Doctor Rock" - Ween

"Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain" - Ween

Buy 12 Country Golden Greats here

*note: the gun does not shoot meth at people.

oh, and for good measure, here's a demo from Hockey Night.

"Rebel Fever (Who We Are)" - Hockey Night

Check out their website & myspace here

Friday, July 21, 2006

"Cotton, it's goddamned 5 o'clock and you haven't even updated this shit today! I hate you, and you probably smell like old wheat bread-and-celery sandwiches"

First of all, go to hell. I'm still in the office, and I should be home by now, pouring myself something wonderful. Second, I smell great*. and third, I've been in a holding pen getting repeatedly punched in the groin by angry dwarves for the past 11 hours, so cut me some slack**.

The zoo was a lot of fun. Well, as much fun as the zoo can be on a humid, embarassingly hot evening, anyway. I took all these pictures of the polar bears eating fishes, monkeys having sex (a mature one, I am), and my beer as seen from a hot air balloon. It’s a pretty sweet shot. Unfortunately, though, I left my phone at home so I won’t be able to post them until Monday or so. Because whatever they tell you about being able to post pictures from your cell phone is COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Anyway, last week one of the Asiatic bears caught up with one of the dozens of peacocks that roam freely throughout the zoo and mauled it before eating it. I couldn’t find anyone that could tell me if it happened while the zoo was open or not, but the idea of a dozen terrified kids watching a little brown bear snacking on a peacock was just about enough to make me cry tears of bird-eating joy. I fucking hate peacocks, and don’t understand what their appeal is. They have a freakishly annoying call, and those feathers are worthless. You know what? I think any bird that can’t fly is pretty much worthless. Except penguins. Especially those wooly ones. Those guys are A-OK in my book.

Some key dialogue from last night:

“look at that monkey scratching himself!”

“uh, he’s not scratching himself”

“then what’s he – oh, god.”

It’s Friday, and I should be doing backflips in excitement of sleeping in and drinking out, but in all honesty I just can’t bring myself to be all that pumped. Probably because I don’t have a single thing planned, except maybe going to the Hollertronix reunion, which I really don’t see myself doing. Which is a shame, because I’m sure it’ll be a blast. I did get paid today, though, so who knows maybe I’ll go do something stupid with my earnings. The Good news is that I can finally afford to buy some more CDs to complete the mix I started a month ago. So yeah, Ricky, keep your eyes peeled…for me to ask you what your address is for the 30th time. So yeah, that’s pretty cool.

The Paramounts were a British R&B group in the mid-late 60s. They were tortured and prodded and twisted into Procol Harum. I can’t tell you a fucking thing about them outside of “Whiter Shade of Pale”, which isn’t nearly as bad a song as the shitty name would lead you to believe.

“Pride & Joy” - The Paramounts

Don’t buy Abbey Road Decade here

I hate Sid Vicious. I really do. I think he’s the most pointlessly overcelebrated piece of trash that has ever crapped out of first wave punk. Seriously, the man couldn’t even tune his instrument, and is more famous for slamming broken beer bottles against his bare chest and murdering his girlfriend more than anything else. Yet to this day there are dumb misguided kids that hold him to some mythical status, their own patron saint of self-destruction, a token icon of the misunderstood. This is fucking retarded. Maybe he was a nice guy, I don’t fucking know. I’ve heard as much, though. The point is I still don’t give a shit, he was worthless (bassless bassist = flightless bird?) and somehow more annoying than Johnny Rotten. The strange thing is I’ve always enjoyed his cover of the Paul Anka classic. I think it was because I assumed it what was punk was supposed to sound like. Years later I realized it was pretty much what old people assumed punk sounded like, and that it was commonly accepted that Elvis Costello was a punk rock musician. Then I didn’t know what the hell was going on. As you might have noticed, that’s pretty much the state I’ve been in since then. Some interesting notes that this song always reminds me of:

-my one brother quoting this in his senior yearbook in high school. He attributed it to Sid Vicious. His other quote was from the Cure.

-my other brother, in his no good punk kid years***, borrowed some money and bought a crapped out 1976 Dodge Charger. He promptly carved “SID” in the trunk with his pocketknife and vowed to rebuild as a rubber-burning hellraisin’ machine. It spent the nesxt 2 years parked halfway in the woods behind my grandmother’s house, occasionally used to get high in by said brother and his friends. Finally, my grandmother had it quietly towed away without telling him. This saga is still mentioned at family gatherings.

-The end of Sid & Nancy. Despite his douchebag of a character study, Gary Oldman is the greatest actor I’ve ever seen. He’s more impressive than a life-sized Mount Rushmore made out of diamonds, magic, and elbow macoroni.

“My Way” – Sid Vicious.

Buy The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle here.

I Don’t know much about the Avett Brothers other than what I’ve heard. They play the same sort of stomping bluegrass the Boggs used to, and from what I’ve heard they’re an exceptional live show and really a swell bunch of guys to boot. I’ve never actually booted them, but I hear things. I should probably throw some opera and Irish funeral dirges in here to while I’m posting a bunch of mismatched shit.

“Let Myself Live” – The Avett Brothers

Buy Mignonette here

*this is a lie

** This is also a lie

***This is yet another lie. Though my brother isn't Henry Rollins, they were about as obnoxious as each other around then. And I couldn't finds a picture of Matt Dillon in Over the Edge to use instead.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

bears bears bears bears

Quick post today, because I'm ducking out early to go to the zoo. Not just any trip to the zoo, mind you , but a trip to the zoo after it has closed and with open bars set up all over the place. It sounds pretty neat, but chances are I'll end up downing vodka tonics and hanging out watching the polar bears. Those guys are so depressing, they're just in sweltering heat and wondering how many kids they'd need to maul before being put down by the state. The last timeI was there the one polar bear just sat hunched over, staring at the strong electrical wires that separate him from the black bears across the way. I wish I was making this up. Actually, no, I don't.
Needless to say, I'm gon' be taking some pictures of monkeys. I'll try to send one here, but that only seems to work like 1 time out of six. Nonetheless, I'll try.

This song is probably my favorite effort ever by both of the artists involved here. It's a story about the jungle with filthy language and a bad little monkey. Which is my favorite kind. Who likes a well-behaved monkey? Shit, what''s the point?

"The Criminal Inside Me" - R.L. Burnside with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Buy Ass Pocket of Whiskey here

and here's a bunch of animal-themed songs. Well, they're not really about animals as much as they are about sex. and hockey.

"Bear Cat (The Answer to Hound Dog)" - Rufus Thomas
Buy Do the Funky Somethin' here

"Hey Mama Wolf" - Devendra Banhart

Buy Cripple Crow here

"Hockey Monkey" - James Kochalka & the Zambonis
Buy Monkey Vs. Robot here

expect some quality thoughts when I get back.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

oh, and I've slept on this a bit too long, but check out that gang at Hip Displeasure. They're all truly good people and their collective knowledge of music dwarfs anything you're gonna find here. Seriously.

The Power is On

The power went out last night as we were across the street buying a tub of water ice. The storm came up on is like a freight train, and by the time the front fdoor was open, the normally magmaesque A/C-less Cobra-La was completely cooled down by gusts of wind that had already knocked over hald the shit in the living room. At first I was bummed by the whole thing, but as usual my grownup instincts kicked in and told me "light the grill, cook up some sausage and make yourself a drink". and from there the night was allllright. The whole neighborhood appeared on their front porches and made conversation. We ate on the porch and fucked around with a giant spider, feeding it moths and cheesy poofs, and then played Uno. I didn't even know I owned Uno, but there it was, still in its wrapping from when my mom gave it to me 2 christmases ago. I fell asleep without music or TV background which hasn't happened since summers in high school when I had an army of crickets waiting outside my window. It was a nice evening all around. I wonder if insomnia was at all common before the advent of electricity. I'm sure it existed, but I bet the internet and cable TV made it exploide like a virus, piping sleepless hours into households all across the world. I guess Crystal Meth might've contributed to it as well.
Right before I went to bed I write a little poem:

Lying awake in my useless kitchen;
even the fridge has lost its begrudged hum.
I wonder if the frontier sounded like this at night;
only without the chainsaws of the workmen
up the street.
Anyways, I've got 2 announcements. I've been trying to change some things on the template of this page, just little superficial stuff, but my html is the ultimate suck, so if everything looks crazy just cut me some slack for a little bit.
also, as of this morning my ipod was destroyed, along with scores of non-backed up songs that I was planning on posting here. You're gona have to bear with me, but in the meantime there might be (even more) less interesting songs here, and possible fewer of them. I don't know, I have yet to take a complete inventory of the situation. So yeah, just bear those in mind for a little while.

The first Sweet Relief album had a pretty massive impact on me when I was 15, and probably for a while after that. I don't think i'm alone in this, either. I think I fell in love for the first time listening to it, and there was a two year period where every mixtape I made had a track from it. I'm pretty sure I hadn't heard a single Victoria Williams song at the time (and haven't heard that many since, to be honest), in fact I'm pretty sure I bought it because of the Pearl Jam and Lou Reed songs, but the standout track for me was the Jayhawk's "Lights". It remains to me their finest moment, a quality that singer Mark Olson's marriage to Victoria Williams didn't tarnish any. The tone of that guitar solo remains one of my favorite sounds ever coaxed from the instrument. Lou Reed sounded like a craggy old man (and this was 4 years after he'd released the only solo album of his that I knew at the time), but it totally works for him here. Thinking about it now, you'd think I would've run out to buy the sequel to this, but by that point I was pretty well steeped in sock snobbery and a disdain for R.E.M., so i guess it make sense.

"Tarbelly & Featherfoot" - Lou Reed

"Lights" - The Jayhawks

But Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Wiliams here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You Forgot it In People

I woke up last night at like 4:30 with some sort of profound sentence etched into my mind. I was sure it was genius, I even sat awake for a few minutes, marvelling at my subconscious for planting something so profound for me to find when I woke up. I knew I should’ve written it down. I told myself, out loud even. But then my laziness get the best of me and I decidede to repeat it over and over until I’d had it memorized. I did this for a little while, but fell asleep pretty quickly. I woke up AGAIN later, freaking out at myself for falling asleep, but amazinly enough, I remembered it. I was so proud of myself that I contentedly rolled over and dozed off again, confident I’d still remember it when I woke up. Then I had a dream that I got into a fistfight at the wedding of some close friends with a kid I haven’t seen since I was 14. Later, I was consoled by a fictional character from and HBO series. Needless to say, I couldn’t remember my epiphany when I woke up, but now I’m wondering what the hell that dream was about. It’s easy to write off my mid-slumber revalations as bullshit, since it was probably just a lyric from T-Bone Walker (whom I fell asleep listening to), but my dreams have to have some sort of root in my psyche, right? Ugh, I shudder to think.

It’s still too fucking hot to think. Or Poo, Mr. Anonymous (if that is your real name) seriously, that’s probably the least obnoxious thing I’ve written in weeks. I am offended, sir.

This fucking invasion is still going on, while the rest of the world is forcd to wait in the U.S. to pull our thumbs our of our asses and say something, which we won’t. I’m so sick of news like this:

At least 215 people have now died during Israel’s seven-day-old assault on Lebanon. All but 14 of the dead are civilians. The Israeli bombings have displaced more than 400,000 Lebanese residents from their homes. Washington Post has reported that Israeli and U.S. officials are privately saying the Israeli bombing of Lebanon is expected to continue for several weeks. The paper also reports that the U.S. is supporting Israel in its refusal to agree to a ceasefire. On Monday President Bush was caught on tape privately telling Prime Minister Tony Blair that he felt UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s call for a ceasefire “seems odd.” On Monday Hizbollah fired 50 rockets at Northern Israel. Several injuries were reported. Over the past week Hizbollah rocket attacks have killed at least 24 Israelis including twelve civilians. A new report by the Lebanese government shows that the Israeli air strikes have devastated the country’s infrastructure. Lebanon’s airports and seaports have been destroyed. Thirty-Eight roads have been cut off by bombs or shells and 42 bridges have been destroyed. Power stations, water-processing plants, grain silos and gas stations have also been targeted as well as communication and television antennas. The Daily Star newspaper in Beirut has accused Israel of violating the Geneva Conventions by attacking Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure. The United Nations is warning of a looming humanitarian disaster. The World Health Organization expects the number of Lebanese residents displaced from their homes to reach 900,000 by the end of today. Over one hundred thousand people have already fled to Syria. Public parks in Beirut now resemble refugee camps filled with displaced residents. The UN peacekeeping force in South Lebanon has said it has been unable to deliver humanitarian aid to stranded civilians because Israel would not guarantee the safe passage of the aid workers. Last week Israeli fire hit an ambulance run by the Lebanese Red Crescent. Aid organizations report many injured people are also unable to reach hospitals because so many roads and bridges have been bombed. Food and medical supplies are also running out in areas.

It’s such bullshit. Regardless of your stance on this invasion it is innocent civilians, children, that are dying here. It’s the average people that just want to work and provide for their families that are getting killed more than anyone here, just for invisible lines on a map and misguided attempts at retribution. This isn’t even counting the people that will starve to death once this is all said and done. Why the fuck can’t the overwhelming majority of those who just want to live without terror rise up against that tiny faction that wants only death and the will of their god? For the same reason my money is paying for one side of this, I suppose. How is self defense an accepted excuse in something like this? Last night on the news Brian Williams was in Tel Aviv, commenting on how the brave everyone there was for not being afraid? Afraid? Why the hell would they be afraid? That’s like me being afraid of an Iraqi invasion. Shit, be afraid of Diabetes. I feel for those 12 citizens, I do, but come the fuck on.

Also, can somebody please slap the shit out of Hillary? Please? And for the love of god not Nancy Pelosi. I’m pretty sure Barbara Boxer could take her down…

There’s a hundred more things I could go off about right now, truly. Instead, though I want you to point to Baghdad Burning. Her most recent post is over a week old, but I’ve gone back to read it twice since I first saw it.

While the Mekons definitely got their start in the punk movement, though to call them a punk band is something of a misnomer -their first big single "Never Been in a Riot" was a piss take on the Clash's "White Riot"- they've always maintained a defiant enough attitude to be considered punk enough. Since 1985's excellent Fear and Whiskey, I'd say they've been more of a country outfit than anything else. Since they're relocated to Chicago, they've managed to continue a small universe of side projects and other bands, all hold their fierce work ethic and moral standards true. While it's not one of my favorite songs of theirs, it works for today.

"Hate is the New Love" - The Mekons
But OOOH (Out of Our Heads) here

Sunset Rubdown is Spencer from Wolf Parade's other band. I'll leave it to you to discern the differences between the two.

"They Took a Vote and Said No" - Sunset Rubdown
Buy Shut Up I Am Dreaming here

This song is one of the most moving songs recorded in history, recorded by my second favorite singer of all time. It never fails to give me a more positive (if not determined) outlook on the tasks and life that lay before me. Read more about it here.

A Change Gonna Come - Sam Cooke

Buy Ain't That Good News here


Monday, July 17, 2006

Too hot to poo

So fucking hot. I woke up today to the sound of the local newsradio announcer telling me that today will be the hottest day of the century for this area. Fuck. The worst part is that I’m in an air-conditioned office where it’s freezing cold, so whenever I go outside to get a coffee or run an errand or do my puny little workout it seems like it’s a BILLION degrees instead of the 110 it’s supposed to feel like, or even the 100 it actually is. Well, maybe not a billion, I mean my skin definitely isn’t searing off my body and my heart hasn’t exploded (yet), but damned it I’m not on the lookout. I don’t have much to say right now, partly because I almost just sweated my eyebrows off before eating and partly because I haven’t had much time to think about what I’m writing today.
I’ve been researching pollution in the Chesapeake bay all morning, because I just found out that there’s a hold on swimming in the area where my parents live due to pollution. This is nuts, because a few weeks ago when they declared the Schuylkill unswimmable I just thought “yeah, that’s been a shithole for years”, but it looks now like the Bay is worse off than that, which is fucking gross. Considering all I’ve thought about since waking up was swimming, this made me pissed off and curious. The latter has been far more helpful, as always. It’s fucking terrifying to read this stuff, how much crap is dumped into the bay. This is a huge waterway, and it affects most of the Eastern Seaboard. I probably should’ve have ever thrown that used bottle rocket into the Bay (sorry Lorna). So yeah, I’m trying to stop this all singlehandedly just so that I can go swimming in a few days. Also, I just learned that there’s a shitload of nude beaches there, which frankly really freaks me out.
Anyway, I don’t wanna harp on about that, it’s just what I’ve been doing today. If you wanna read something more interesting, go to my Sean's page here and read Martin Wong’s blog here. Martin wong is one of the guys that publishes Giant Robot, and is one of the only nationally published music reviewers I trust implicitly. I haven't had a chance to go through his blog that much but he's probably got some good stuff on there. Sean is the greatest man alive, and I’ve seen him wriestly a wild boar our of the jaws of a crocodile. Then wrestle the boar into submssion (it had eaten his wallet – don’t ask). I’ll try to put the link up on the side over the the right of this text, but it’ll have to wait until another day. So yeah, go check that shit out.
You might find these songs as irritable as I find this heat. Which is understandable, this sorta weather does things to my taste. I’m pretty sure that NOBODY will like all three of these songs, but there’s a good chance that everybody will like at least one. Which is about the same odds I usually have so I’ll take ‘em.

Deformative – Black Eyes

Buy Black Eyes here

Funky Hi-Life - C.K. Mann
Don't buy Salsa Con Gana here

Storming the Bastille - A Day in Black and White
Buy My Heroes Have Always Killed Cowboys here

Friday, July 14, 2006

1000 visits means the kitten lives another day.

So, I fucked up today. I really meant to post some completely awesome summer hip-hop to round out the week, but they’re in the m4a format on my ipod, so I don’t know how many of you would be able to listen to them. I’ll probably throw them on here somewhere else just for the sake of doing it, but look for them to show up in a post early next week. So, in place of those tracks, you’re gonna get some Primal Scream. Primal Scream is nuts. Plain and simple. They swing back and forth from genres like some narcotic pendulum, and they tend to piss off their fans with every release they make. If you’re not familiar with them I would say you should be out buying XTRMNTR as soon as possible. Also, I found the book XXXXX by Kris Needs to be an entertaining enough read. Anyway, the tracks I’m gonna post here are from their album Live in Japan, which I believe is still import-only right now. It’s a great fucking album, and Japanese Primal Scream shows are notoriously indulgent and insane. This seems to be no exception as they rip through their set with the intensity of a swarm of bees that are being taunted with rocks and ice cream. You know, because they love ice cream but they hate rocks so much? okay, bad analogy. Anyway, these songs are fucking incredible and probably should be avoided in the car, since they tend to make me drive like a completely reckless baboon.

Shoot Speed Kill Light (live) – Primal Scream
Autobahn 66 (live) – Primal Scream
City (live) – Primal Scream
Buy Live in Japan here

The Whigs are from Athens, GA, and sound like it.. At first I thought I hated them, but some of their stuff has really grown on me.

Technology – The Whigs
Buy Give ‘Em All a Big Fat Lip here

Download this and this if you can. They’re in the m4a, as I mentioned earlier, but I know itunes will accept them if nothing else does. They are party joints, and will not behave themselves if left alone with your parents. Buy the album here.

Check out the 9th Ward

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wide Spectrum, Sharp, Speedy!

Quick one today because I just spend half my lunch break reading reviews of the Cut Chemist album and watching the webisodes of the American Office. I'm still not sure I wanna buy the album. I mean, I'm sure it's a great album, but it's definitely more the thing I would've killed for 7 years ago than right now. I don't know, sometimes the wait for something kills it (see; Z-Trip). Still, the tracks I've heard from it have been pretty awesome.
Anyway, here's two songs, both of which are by artists I plan on writing far more in depth about later on, but I'm too much in a rush to rig up an introspective for right here. In any case, the first song is a cover of an Adam Ant song that I had all but forgotten about until Superchunk decided to play it for something or another. Superchunk has a streak of about 5 albums that kick my ass to the ground. Since then they've chenged their sound a bit and upped the production ante. I can honestly say I don't like their newer albums, which I catch a lot of shit for. Oh well. The second song just might by my favorite version of my all-time favorite rock song ever written. Seriously.

"Beat My Guest" - Superchunk

Buy Cup of Sand here

Roadrunner (live) - The Modern Lovers
Buy Precise Modern Lovers Order here

if that isn't enough for you, check out some vintage Japanese anti-drug ads here and then buy me a Grusli.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

okay i'm back

Okay, I'm back and the monotony of spreadsheets and reading about Orthopaedic Surgery has calmed me down enough to let me think about what I'd enjoy listening to while sweating through a road trip with the windows down or sitting around a fire eating hot dogs or whatever your summer sounds like. Anyway, since I said that last post was gonna be a short one and it was hella long I'm gonna keep this one as short as possible.
-Wrong 'Em Boyo is probably more famous for being covered by the Clash on London Calling than it is in its own right, but it's an awesome song and connects more than a few bridges concerning the legend of Stagger Lee (That link is a great article, for those who've given up on my normally pointless linkage). It's one of the most popular stories in music history, and can probably be counted as a cornerstone to more than a few different types of folklore. Does folklore include Gangsta Rap? Sometimes. This tale definitely is a basis for a great deal of Rocksteady as well.
Anyways, there are no less than 5 different versions of this tale that I could count among my favorite songs of all time. This one would clock in as my 2nd favorite of those.

Wrong 'Em Boyo - The Rulers

This might even be out of print, but I'm sure I got it off some cheap-ass Trojan records comp so I'd search there. I'll change the link if I find it at home tonight.

Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force is... better than you. This song was a good luck charm for awhile, and it was used to mess with Ghost Tours in Savannah for awhile, but it's always been a summer fuckin' jam*.

"Zulu Nation Throwdown" -
Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force

Buy Looking For the Perfect Beat here

The M's are a band from Chicago I don't know enough about. To be honest, I've got no idea where I got this song at all. I'm pretty sure I got it from the board a few days ago, but an hour of searching has left me with nothing. If anyone from the board (or anywhere else for that matter) is here and does figure it out let me know and i owe them a coke. Anyway this song has been in my head since I heard it on the way home on monday night so it's already up there. This is terrible, because I couldn't have had this song for more than a week. I really have to stay on top of listening to the new stuff when i get it.

Never Do This Again - The M's
Buy Future Women here

*"fuckin'" was being used in an exclamatory sense and not a coital one.

incidentally, while creating this post I realized that Badminton Stamps has an eerily similar choice of songs today. This is entirely coincidental. and awesome.

I couldn't emember who Bebop was and who Rocksteady was, so I put both of them at the top.


Okay a quick post today because I just remembered that I’m about a month late on a mix for a friend of mine and feel like a sack of crap for not having it ready to mail just yet despite finishing the cover art the morning after I told him I’d make it.

There’s plenty of shit that’s really pissing me off in the news today, but I actually wanna bring up a story from a few weeks ago, namely the shitheels that raped* a 14 year old girl in Iraq and then murdered her family. I’ve avoided talking about it because it’s utterly heinous, but the more details are revealed about this case the more I’m incensed by it. To the four assholes that committed this atrocity and the other asshole that helped cover it up, you are fucking scum that should be stoned to death in the most crowded public square in Iraq. Why not? Do you think any Iraqi believes they deserve a painless chemical injection? Shit, I don’t even think that, and I’m almost completely against the death penalty. What the fuck were you thinking? You did a great job in jeopardizing everyone in your unit and every other U.S. soldier in the world. You really managed to unite more warring factions of the region, too. into killing more Americans. It’s not hard enough for many women over there, really. Now they have to worry about dodging rape squads belonging to MY GOVERNMENT. You fucking nitwits. Do you have any idea how hard it is gonna be for the hero soldiers, the real ones who aren’t priding themselves on a body count but are just trying to make a difference over there? You know, the people who are actually trying to help over there? They’re just gonna get mixed in with the rest of you trigger-happy assholes when you come back. They’re gonna get spit on and hated because you thought you were in some magic little candyland where morals don’t apply anymore. The worldwide opinion of our country has been sliding down the shitter wall for for a few years now, but you might have actually managed to flush it. Thanks for the helping recruit more people to fly planes into us for the nest twenty years you backwards asinine goatfuckers. Oh, and thanks for bumping my gender down a few more pegs, you worthless shits. Remember what it was like when you were 14? Do you remember how much you looked forward to the rest of your life? Well, that little girl can’t. and her family can’t even watch her, fuck, they can’t even remember her because you fucktards were too scared of getting caught. I can’t imagine what you punishment will be, but you deserve it a thousand times over.

And to the government: stop trying to protect these assholes. Why the fuck would you say the girl was twenty years old? WHO IS THAT GOING TO HELP? Now even more people are going to refuse to believe anything you fucking say. You lied about her age twice to us before the truth was out. Quit fucking lying to us! Quit painting this sunny picture of Iraq like it’s a goddamned third grader painting his house? It’s hellish over there. We’ve been there for over three years and we can’t even give them drinking water? WE’RE COMPETING OVER CELL PHONE CONTRACTS OVER THERE BUT THEY DON’T HAVE ELECTRICITY? What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop pretending this shit is about democracy or whatever and fucking tell us what’s going on. I’m so fed up with reading a newspaper and expecting to feel betrayed by the people who are supposed to be leading this country. I’m so fed up with suicide bombers and the fucking evil weasels we keep putting in charge over there. I’m sick of people thinking Iraq deserves this for some reason. I’m sick of the phrase “dead civilians”. I’m sick of Pakistan selling everyone nuclear secrets while we pat them on the back. I’m truly sick of Israel. Most of us didn’t want to get into this war, but we went along with it because you started making up scary facts. Now you refuse to end it with the slightest of competence and instead lie to our faces like some little kid with his hand in the candy jar. If we weren’t so fat and content we’d be pissed. I’ve been trying to think of a good reason that we’re still over there, but I honestly can’t anymore. And don’t give me that Civil War shit. Do you really think anyone wants to see more dying over there other than our troops? This country is closer to a civil war than Iraq. Sorry. I'm just so sick of more people dying for no reason. To make rich people richer.

Shit, I’ll try and post a track later, but I don’t really wanna tie in a happy summer tune to this post.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

He's still going on about Tom and Jerry

This morning I woke up already sweating. I know I complain about the heat a lot, but damnit, give me an hour in the morning to not look like I was just running wind sprints in a sauna. That’s enough to make me happy*. I did get to watch Tom and Jerry again this morning though and was pleasantly surprised that I remembered the first episode I saw completely, and the second episode I had never seen before. Anyway I was watching the show and thinking about how those episodes (which more or less ran from 1940-72) really lasted for a couple of generations, teaching wave after wave of children what sort of damage a cartoon mouse was willing to unleash on a intently cruel cartoon cat**. That lasted until my childhood at the earliest, ad I’m sure it continued awhile after that. But watching this morning I realized that this show is so grounded in what American life was like during that time, that it might well be completely unintelligible to children growingup in the last 10 years or so. I mean, how many kids know what a milk jug looks like today, or what a Murphy Bed is. Seriously, if you’re not getting a Murphy Bed, there goes like half of the gags that show ever employed. I think they managed to work Murphy Beds into the spaceship episodes later in the series! Though, come to think of it that’s probably the one place they’re still being made. I had this lengthy rant prepared about how great Tom & Jerry is for never trying to modernize or adapt like the Scooby Doo Franchise (case in point), but then I checked out imdb and discovered that was incorrect. So now I don’t know what to believe, other than that I’m sure those new ones are terrible and a surprising amount of classic cartoons aren’t going to be familiar with general pop culture in 40 years. The Flintstones. The Jetsons. Looney Tunes. Corageous Cat & Minute Mouse. Those Scooby Doos where the Harlem Globetrotters are working with Batman and Robin and Don Knotts on a mystery? Who’s ever gonna take enough drugs to write something that harebrained again? They’re going to be Punch and Judy. And who cares about that shit? I don’t know, it’s just kinda getting to me today.

King Sunny Ade is Nigerian, and before you go dismissing this as some crappy post about world music, hear me out. I really don’t like world music. With a few exceptions, I don’t care what sounds good in Sumatra, and it’s not ethnocentrism that drives me to dislike these musics, it’s just that I spend enough of my goddamned time trying to discern what I like out of the hundreds (if not thousands) of genres and subgenres that are readily available in this country that I really can’t bring myself to give a toss what a couple of instruments I can barely pronounce sounded like when they screech. Listen, it’s obviously popular somewhere, and if you happen to enjoy it, more power to you. But to ham on about how overlooked Quechua is in this country, you should be punched in the face. If you’re expecting to turn a whole new group of people onto your shitty Iranian Apala (or worse, Dancehall) don’t get upset when it isn’t their bag.
That said, I dig the King. It’s heavily guitar based, which probably explains its appeal to me, and just has a general rhythm that one can’t help yo relax around. He and his rival
Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey (seriously), brought their music out of Africa in the mid-to-late 70s, releasing literally hundreds of albums. If you ever get the chance to see video of him performing live you’ll get a picture of what a rock star this guy is in certain parts of the world. Anyway, I pretty much only listen to him in the summer, in the car. It’s lighthearted and fun, and goes well with Mexican beer for some reason. The first two of these songs are part of a medley and could be played as such.

Bombibele Horojo – King Sunny Ade

Oro Towo Baseti – King Sunny Ade

Adena Ike – King Sunny Ade

But Juju Music here

*not true.

** What the hell did he want to Jerry, anyway? Assumably he wants to eat him, but who ties dynamite to a small critter they want to eat? I mean, wouldn’t he constantly be painting the front of the family*** stove to look like a mouse hole? Or just feed him 3 lbs of rosemary and then put him in a pot? I’m just saying Tom was either a terribly inept carnivore or just a sadist.

***Who lived in this house, anyway? The characters run from “old lady’s feet” to “not as old lady’s feet” to “maid’s feet”. What kind of old lady wants a cat that can use a hammer?

also, what the fuck was up with that dog? how come he was only involved sometimes? or stuck up for Jerry sometimes and didn't give a shit others? Was he Swiss?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Better Late Than Never

Had a nice weekend, which consisted mostly of buying books and reading them, then heading up to NY for that exhibit and wiffleball brunch. It was a nice time, and got to hang out with some good people, despite ultimately losing the game. I also picked up some awesome stuff at GRNY. Didn’t get home until pretty late last night, with just enough time to watch Lucky Louie and pass the hell out. This morning I woke up to the smell of brewing coffee (that’s right, Cobra-La is automated now) and rolled out of bed to pour myself some and lo and behold, “Tom & Jerry” is on Cartoon Network in the morning! Holy shit that is awesome. I almost never watch TV before dark anymore, but damned if I don’t love some classic cartoons in the morning. It’s seriously a great way to wake up. If I can rig it up to wake me with the smell of coffee AND the sound of cartoons I’d... well, I’d be late for work every damned day. It hadn’t really sunk in to me before this weekend that summer truly is here, probably because of the ludicrous amount of rain we’ve received here in the past month. But that’s over (for now) and it’s officially mid-July. Kick ass, and for that I’m gonna post some more summery music for awhile for anyone that might not be stuck behind a desk all day, starting today with some Stan Getz from his Bossa Nova years. Getz is probably my favorite jazz artist of all time, which probably says a lot about my complete lack of understanding when it comes to Jazz. I love some jazz, but a lot of it sounds to me either so bland that I can’t stay awake long enough to enjoy it or it sounds like rabid dogs fucking on top of a belt sander. Needless to say, Getz falls in neither of these categories, though I’ve been told it was “elevator shit” when I played it recently. To me this period of work (where he was working with, among others: Charlie Byrd, Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, and Astrud Gilberto). Is the most relaxing, beer-on-a-hammock music ever recorded. Seriously, it just screams of warm weather and total contentedness. I like to think that if somebody had played this for me 10 years ago I’d appreciate it, but I’m sure I’d say it sounds like bad cocktail party music or far far worse. But as I listen to it now it just makes a little later.

Desafinado - Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd

Balanca No Samba (Street Dance) - Getz/Gilberto

Eu E Voce (Me and You) - Getz/Gilberto

Buy Jazz Samba (probably the highlight of these sessions) here

it always cracks me up when I think about how tame this music sounds with today's ears, but that it was what all the drug addicts listened to in the early sixties.

Friday, July 07, 2006

oh, it's on now.

HOLY SHIT I JUST SENT THIS FROM MY PHONE. This just gave me a reason to care at all about having a camera phone. KAZAM!

Positively Birdshit.

I feel slightly crappish today. Probably the results of drinking too many Molson XXXs last night (which is referred to as “Super Beer” on the label. What the shit is that?) and no coffee this morning. Nothing like crawling out of bed and skipping coffee to place a whopping payment on my credit card bill. It’s an absolutely gorgeous day outside though, and I’m looking forward to a nice weekend of swimming, Frisbee, drinking, a kozyndan exhibit, and wiffleball. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah. Anyway, This is gonna be a quick post because I’m still backed up like a constipated nun at a chili cookoff over here, but I am gonna post this Paul Westerberg track from the mix as I promised. In addition to being a cover of what’s probably my favorite Dylan song, Westerberg plays virtually every single instrument here, and all of them well. I love the sound of the guitar here and his voice has been through just enough hell to really make it work. It was recorded for Uncut magazine like 5 years ago and hasn’t appeared on anything since to the best of my knowledge. It’s a pretty awesome track and dominated a lot of my mixes. I meant backed up with work, by the way. Not with poop.

Positively 4th Street – Paul Westerberg

Buy something of Paul’s here.

The other song I’m gonna post today (mostly because I have nothing else to post and I wanna keep some other stuff on hold right now) is from Conner, who has another song on the mix. The other day I was bemoaning that my musical taste was growing stagnant and how I just thought all of the new stuff I heard sounded weird and unlistenable. It was really starting to get to me and I was convinced I’m gonna turn into a crotchety old man that only listens to Pavement and I dunno, Mclusky and yells at all the kids on his yard and everything. As opposed to listening to newer stuff and yelling at kids. The important part is that I am going to be yelling at kids in my twilight years. Anyways, back to the story at hand I was all upset about my lack of interest in music as of late, and I stumbled across this track halfassedly and fell in love with it. So that’s the story of how the grinch saved his own self-serving interest in music. It’s not a very interesting one, I know. Maybe later I’ll tell “Horton Fucks a Who”. I probably didn’t just make that up (I’m almost sure I didn’t), but whoever reads this first should totally go out and make t-shirts with that on them. It’s a thousand dollar idea!

Up To You – Conner

Buy The White Cube here

Alright kids I’m off for the weekend. I’ll try to get some pictures and stuff to post (I still can’t figure out how to post from my phone -see the photo above- for the life of me, but will someday). In the meantime, have a blast and get outside, because it’s fucking gorgeous out there.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Do you have any mortal enemies?"

What an amazing little break. I can’t believe how much fun Pittsburgh was, it’s such a different town than when I last lived there. Or maybe it isn’t, maybe it’s just that everyone I still know there have moved on to more interesting and entertaining things. But I know that’s not it. I went to the same places I usually go, and through sheer fortune got to spend some time another old friend in from New York. So yeah, it was nice. I didn’t see a single firework last night. In fact, I made a point of not even turning my head to look out the window while they were going off. I wish I could say it was out of defiance, that I was reflecting Frederick Douglass’ famous stance on Independence Day, or that I couldn’t find it in my to celebrate my country last night, but for the most part it was just my not caring. Did you see that last movie that George Romero made about zombies (Land of the Dead) where the humans use fireworks to distract the zombies while they ride through towns killing them? I don’t know what that hs to do with anything, but that’s wht I thought of while I sat inside reading while fireworks lit up the sky outside my house last night. Lightning is just more interesting to me, I guess.

I’m gonna post a mix today. It’s a compilation of the mixes I made for the drive last weekend. They didn’t last me the whole trip since, for the fourth or fifth time, I was held up in standstill traffic for an hour and a half. People were getting out of their cars and playing frisbee, walking their dogs, running up an adjacent hill to take a crap… it was aggravating. Even better was that, for the third or fourth time this jam was caused by a flipped RV. It’s always a flipped RV. Do me a favor, if you decide to bring an RV on high-speed trans-commonwealth road, MAKE SURE YOU CAN DRIVE THE DAMNED THING. It’s the capital suck for everyone else when you realize at the last minute you shouldn’t have taken that turn so fast.

The title of this mix is something stupid I shouldn’t have said, but I still think is funny so it stands. I gotta put it on YSI because I don’t have the bandwidth to host this just yet (though I’m hoping to soon). Anywho, have fun with it. I’m gonna post that Paul Westerberg Dylan cover tomorrow because it’s awesome and been in my head for 3 days now.

Most of these songs I’ve managed to pick up from one place or another, many of them blogs and in the case of that Priestess song, Dalen’s blog, which is a lot more up to speed than this thing. Go visit him.

Anyways, here’s the mix:

  1. Thirty Days – Chuck Berry
  2. Talk To Her – Priestess
  3. Scott Pilgrim – Plumtree
  4. A Watched Pot – El Ten Eleven
  5. Young Folks – Peter Bjorn and John
  6. Pushover – The Long Winters
  7. Hang Me Up To Dry – Cold War Kids
  8. Manslaughter – J Rawls feat. Oh No, Dr. Oop, John Robinson, Aloe Blacc, Declaime and Georgia Anne Muldrow
  9. Woman (Avalanches Millstream Remix) – Wolfmother
  10. Positively 4th Street – Paul Westerberg
  11. Do Not Break – Ellen Allien and Apparat
  12. Cold Feelings – Conner
  13. Nefi + GirlyAsobi Seksu
  14. Jellyfish – ghostface Killah
  15. Kate’s Song – The General & Duchess Collins
  16. Last Cans of Paint – Boat
  17. California Pt. 2 – Mason Jennings

64 minutes long.

As you can guess, I’ve still got 5 days worth of emails to catch up on, but I hope you guys like this and somebody let me know if the file expires and I’ll throw a fresh link up.

Oh, and everybody watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia tonight because it's hilarious.

Sleeping on the Job

So my internet has been down since last week. For that I apologize, and in order to make that up I'm gonna post a big ol' mix later on today, which will triple the amount of songs you'd normally beat outta me in a week. I'm just finishing up the sequencing now and will probably post it on my lunch break. So yeah, keep an eye out.