Monday, January 31, 2005

Washed by Joe's throbbing hands

Have you checked out the massive library of archival recordings of poetry and such over at U. Penn yet, PENNSound? It's awesome. They even have a manifesto, written by the great Charles Bernstien. You can, for instance, hear Ted Berrigan reading from all of his sonnets, back in 1981. Sweet.

Here, this is Berrigan's sonnet #15:

In Joe Brainard's collage its white arrow
he is not in it, the hungry dead doctor.
Or Marilyn Monroe, her white teeth white--
I am truly horribly upset because Marilyn
and ate King Korn popcorn," he wrote in his
of glass in Joe Brainard's collage
Doctor, but they say "I LOVE YOU"
and the sonnet is not dead.
takes the eyes away from the gray words,
Diary. The black heart beside the fifteen pieces
Monroe died, so I went to a matinee B-movie
washed by Joe's throbbing hands. "Today
What is in it is sixteen ripped pictures
does not point to William Carlos Williams.

Shove this kind of stuff into your iPod shuffle!

Friday, January 28, 2005

What grievous pain we bear

Download: WASHINGTON PHILLIPS "Jesus Is My Friend"

Washington Phillips recorded 18 songs in the late '20s in Dallas. There's been lots of renewed interest in him, thanks to an excellent article by Michael Corcoran that was supposed to also run in YETI 3, but since it's taken fifteen years for the issue to come out and the piece also was included (rightfully) in one of those best music writing of the year books, well, it was removed (though a song by Phillips is on the CD). I just found this guy's obsessive site where he says Wash plays a fretless zither and not the dolceola. Once the film to Love In Vain is finally made, the (proposed) use of an entire W.P. tune in the last scene will turn lots more people onto his haunting, singular music, of this I am certain. His version here of "What a Friend We Have In Jesus" (published by Joseph M. Scriven in 1855) is haunting and singular. Don’t you think?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I'll be damned

Looks like I've exceeded download capacity for the month, so I had to disable all tunes except the Wynona Carr one from today and the first ten or so (scroll wayyy down) until next Tues., Feb. 1.

From now on I think I can only host songs for a day or so at a time, which is what most music blogs do anyway, so check back often or you'll miss out. Thanks a lot for your patience; maybe in a few months I'll be able to afford more space.

In the meantime (and I hate to suggest anyone pay to download from a site other than eMusic) go to msn's music site where it looks like they have much of the Folkways and Smithsonian catalog available for sale now -- many rare titles for $8.91/ album download. There's a lot of really rad stuff there, from all of the Music from the South and various "Sounds of" records (the office, junk yard) to records like Negro Folk Music of Alabama, Vol. 2: Religious Music, and hundreds of ethnographic releases that, while of course it's much better to own them on vinyl, you'd spend years looking for. Um, though where's Sounds of Insects or the Harry Smith-recorded Kiowa Peyote Meeting? A major quibble is that the liner notes are not included and you cannot easily search solely through the Folkways catalog on the msn site but I guess you can just find everything first on the Folkways site, then search under the exact title.

As we surely someday have got to forgive our debtors

Download: SISTER WYNONA CARR "Our Father (live)"

Shortened to fit onto the amazing Dragnet For Jesus, this live recording from the early '50s is a spinning top of a song that combines "There's Going to be a Meeting Tonight" with the Lord's Prayer. Carr's studio recordings are more subtle/ jazzy/ bluesy, and humorous even, while just as good as this shouter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

So carry on dreaming

Download: TELEVISION PERSONALITIES "Magnificient Dreams"

The TVP's were such a crucial band for me, especially in the way they bridged pop-psych and shamble-punk sensibilities. They were precious but also had a prankster side to them, and I liked the way they sang about pop artists as much as they sang about girls. See, while I'd found older record head people while in jr. high, it'd be a few more years until I'd meet people who were obsessed with art and lit. and stuff as well as music. We all have our moments of "Wow, I'm not so crazy after all and other people like me exist" and this was one of mine. These kind of moments are huge for disaffected teens (is there any other kind?), though they sure do seem to be supplanted rather quickly by "I wish there weren't so many fucking hipsters (i.e. 'people like me') at this show/ bar/ shop..."

This is my favorite TVPs tune, off the 1981 LP Mummy Your Not Watching Me -- it's so incredibly happy/ sad. I've been known to listen to it over and over again for HOURS -- another reason I should probably always have my own place! The International Pop Underground would be far less populated without the influence of TVPs leader Dan Treacy -- for better and worse (as is well documented, the influence of musical naifs on others is not always the best thing.) FYI, the troubled Treacy has recently recorded his first new material in years and is apparently doing pretty well; he has a blog here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'll come running to tie your shoes

Download: BRIAN ENO AND THE WINKIES "Totalled"

Peel Session from March 5, 1974, never officially released. The personnel is as follows: Eno (vocals and synth), Mike Desmarais (drums), Guy Humphries (guitar), Philip Rambow (guitar), Brian Turrington (bass). Of the many things we all love about Eno, the fact that he basically fell out of love with rock music so quickly, (well, until being lured back into it by the very evil U2 years later, but that doesn't count) ranks pretty high. You can just hear him being bored with the closing prog stylee coda rock riff part here before it's even begun, one of the reasons I kind of love this song. The singing may be awesome, but "Totalled" (sic) is so awkward, it never really works (obvious in that Eno repurposed the "I'll come running to tie your shoes" bit for the song "I'll Come Running" on 1975's Another Green World). It's like an old man dressed in drag, sagging beer belly seeping through see-thru teddy -- "Totalled" just doesn't fucking care, and as such it's prepunk genius, totally. Wait, how do you say "prepunk genius" in French? That would be the preferred way to say that, I think.

And in the vernacular

Download: KIM FOWLEY "Canyon People (interview)"

The Fowley curio is from Highs In The Mid-Sixties Volume 3. It finds Fowley explaining to CBS News in the summer of ‘67 how 'the canyon people' had by then usurped the 'flower children' as America's hope for the future. He was totally right, you know, and it’s about time we take to the canyons, groove on each other, and build Buckydomes and live in peace forever – who’s with me?!!! (Note that on the runout groove to Fowley’s ’67 Reprise single “Don't Be Cruel” /”Strangers from the Sky” it says "Rodney Underground DS Canyon Put On.")

Monday, January 24, 2005

She tried to hit me with a mop

Download: VELVET UNDERGROUND "I Can't Stand It (Legendary Guitar Amp Tape version)

The Velvets played their last in a three-day run of shows at the Boston Tea Party in Boston on March 15, 1969. Apparently they played Boston quite a bit in 1969 -- just look at the set lists and posters here, and imagine what a Holy Modal Rounders/ V.U. show woulda been like (and how the heck did the hippies react and stuff?!) The whole evening was taped by an audience member, who was either too stoned or else totally smart enough to have just stuck the tape recorder right inside Lou Reed's guitar amp where it's distorted as hell, and pretty much, that’s all you hear, just Lou’s guitar, with the rhythm section a ghost throb through it, every thirtieth word faintly audible as well. In two words: fucking perfect. Someone posted 40 minutes of the Guitar Amp Tape in real audio here.

I first heard the thing as a VUAS tape (Velvet Underground Appreciation Society -- very active early '80s, super important work they did esp. before the V.U. LPs came out. Growing up in FL made it really easy to find these tapes since local shops like Open Books & Records would carry them all). Here, use "VUAS" in a sentence to impress girls: I used to have every VUAS tape, BITD.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

While eternity cycles wildly inside me

Download: ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS "You Stand Above Me (live)"

Ladies and gentlemen, we just may have the best record of the year already -- I Am A Bird Now by Antony & the Johnsons (and kudos to Kurt Reighley for writing the best press release in aaaaaaaages, yo.) First heard of Antony a little over three years ago when I went back to New York for the closing party for Tompkins Square Books and to attend CMJ for my then-employer. I was staying with my pal Joe Budenholzer, one of my favorite people ever, who records as Backworld and his new band in Glasgow is this super rad Roxy Music-ish affair -- shit I forget their name -- anyway the point is Joe couldn't shut up how amazing Antony was and how he was fully integrated into my scene of musician pals there and Joe played me the first Antony CD which had come out on not World Serpent but some label like that and I liked it but I didn't really totally get it. It's music you have to listen to a few times to really "get," I think.

Then 9-11 happened and with Joe I ran into Antony that day or the next day I don't remember which, and what a weird circumstance to meet someone in. We all huddled in cafes crying and trying not to think about what had happened while also totally trying to but it was like just so hard to even understand, then trying to figure out what to do 'cause we all wanted to do something, and once we learned they didn't need untrained help down at the site and they didn't need any more blood since the lines to give had been so long from the start, then we all felt like fuck, why are we artists and writers and shit -- why can't we be firemen and doctors and stuff? I still feel like some big part of me is still back there, on that day, standing on the corner looking at the smoke, trying to figure out what the fuck (I SLEPT through the first towers' collapse, having been out until like 4AM with Bill Bronson -- Joe tried to awaken me but that's not easy) . Anyway, this really has nothing to do with Antony and the Johnsons, does it? Sorry.

Recorded live at St. Olave's Church in London in 2002, at a show done with Current 93, this lovely little song is from what seems to be a very out of print EP that I wish I had but don't, so thanks, Soulseek. Antony's new album is total visionary shit, think Neutral Milk Hotel meets Nina Simone with touches of Blake and JT LeRoy or something -- no that sounds ridiculous. Anyway, this is the real deal and it's so nice to be this excited about somebody and not care if I missed the boat or not. See, as someone who writes about music it's so tempting to get all high on being the first to discover something (Matos opined that this must be the critic's cocaine in response to a question poised the other week by Sasha) or to pretend like you were -- God knows I've done both in my day. Sayyyyyy, did I ever tell you how Galaxie 500 would be nowhere without me??!!! Ohhh, little brother, we are in a messss.

There are eyes that cannot see

Download: W.H. STEPP "The Ways of the World"

After the wildfire success of this "mashing them together" craze, I suggest that some enterprising entrepeneur entwine this here spiffy number with the one by Flipper of nearly the same name -- that idea, it's got legs, no? On this song, found here, "Bill Stepp retunes his fiddle into "A" cross-tuning (AEAE, one of the several "standard" tunings common in Southern and South Western fiddling) for a full open sound facilitated by the use of bass drones as rhythmic accents," according to some know-it-all on Amazon (not me, another one -- a customer!)

PS: WTF?! I just got this email: Dear Michael McGonigal,

Pursuant to section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission require PayPal Funds to obtain, verify, and record the following information for each investor in the PayPal Money Market Fund:

- Name
- Address
- Date of Birth (for individuals)
- Tax Identification number (Social Security number for individuals, or employer identification number for businesses)

As of February 27, 2005, PayPal will begin collecting date of birth information (for individuals only) for all existing investors in the fund who made their initial investment after October 1, 2003. This is required
by Federal regulation, and is in addition to investor information (i.e., name, address and tax identification number), that has been previously collected, verified and stored for all investors in the PayPal Money Market Fund.

If you do not wish for PayPal to obtain, verify, and store your date of birth, you must redeem your investment in the fund and close your PayPal Money Market Fund account no later than February 26, 2005.

Friday, January 21, 2005

And forget to breathe for just one minute because of some beauty

Download: TALL DWARFS "Nothing's Gonna Happen"

Yesssss. I am meditating on the floor in the dark, surrounded by a circle of candles. My beard just barely scrapes the wooden floor. I am chanting this song over and over again. My elfin friends from the forest sing along with me and the Keebler ones play the water glasses and jingle the bells along with this song. This song is a prayer for peace, a plea to see what is truly beautiful and wondrous in life and to exult in THAT and not all the bullshit we are surrounded by. Because Bush and his horrible creeps, they are not gonna be allowed to get away with everything; I mean we will all revolt, and we will find the hidden camps, and let everyone out of them, and join in a circle and all sing this song together, then Devendra and Joanna are going to appear and they will look hot and resplendent in their flowing white robes and they will show us how to really do the hokey-pokey, and all the My Little Pony's in your closet will come to life and sing and prance with your Monchichis and they will fornicate together loudly and create a new magical universe covered in sparkle and M&Ms, and Dave Chapelle will be our President and Germaine Greer will run the reality television shows and they will now be about who can love the other person the most. And Boom Bip will run the MTV Networks and Tussle will be the third biggest band on the planet and both U2 and Interpol will decide that they should never make music again in fact all their records will be recalled and destroyed and never played ever again and all your friends who do too much blow will start working the program and will call their sponsors and quit already and they will pay you back the money they owe you and all marriage everywhere will be abolished for being "icky" and every single person on Earth will be given a toaster oven at birth and the IRS will call you up just to say how much they love you and you are special and should never pay a cent to them in fact they came up with a special grant for special people and will pay you to "make art that exults in life" for the rest of your life and it's cool if you go live in Sweden or Iceland too they'll still pay you and that girl you like will call you back and your high school will call to tell you that even though you were a total wimp in high school they're going to name their new state of the art gym after you and the war in Iraq will be over and all the bombs will turn into bubblegum and all the money spent on the war will now go to finding a cure for and/ or treating AIDS and BASF will make two-inch tape once again and David Sedaris will ask if he can come over and try out his new material on you and Wes Anderson will ask if you'd not mind helping to compile the soundtrack to his next quirky movie and you'll say thanks Wes but I have to work on the New Peace Initiative already, sheesh. I just closed my eyes and saw it, thanks to this 1981 song by Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate AKA the Tall Dwarfs, from the ever-excellent Three Songs EP. Here, sing along with me: "Love love kiss kiss..."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Better watch your close friends

Download: BLIND WILLIE DAVIS "Your Enemy Cannot Harm You"
Download: THE GREAT UNWASHED "I Can't Find Water"
Download: ROBERT WYATT "Strangers In The Night"
Download: DAVY GRAHAM "Afta"

The Blind Willie Davis tune is taken from the 1970 Yazoo LP Ten Years of Black Country Religion 1926-1936. It's available in much better sound quality on the box set Goodbye, Babylon, but this LP just rules and it's where I first heard Charley Patton's "Prayer of Death" (a song so moving you have to try to think of a word that means the same thing as "moving," only magnified a thousand times.) Speaking of comps, maybe you've heard Davis' "I Believe I'll Go Back Home" on American Primitive vol. 1 (goddamn it I want Fahey to return from the grave to gimme vol. 2!) I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see a (new?) long-ish entry by our old friend Dr. Eugene Chadbourne on AMG for Davis -- a guy who cut three or four 78s, total, about whom very little is known.

Lyrically, "Your Enemy Cannot Harm You" concerns Christ's betrayal by Judas, of course. I upload the song today, on Inauguration Day, because we all have a bit of Judas within ourselves -- we all have our price; we all have our breaking points too. And if this administration knows anything, it's to use money/ influence as a weapon (of course they know how to use weapons as weapons too), and how to torture folks, right? You probably think I'm nuts and/or paranoid, but I honestly think that "things" are about to get very interesting and incredibly, incredibly fucked -- worse than soup line a mile long fucked -- and so we'll all fight the power in our ways, whether it be to umm write a blog about it all or to you know, wear t-shirts with the President with devil horns... Just be very careful, is all I'm saying (in all earnestness.)

The Great Unwashed was a short-lived supergroup in New Zealand ca. 1982-'84: The brilliant brothers Kilgour minus pop guy Robert Scott (busy with the fab Bats), plus junkie psych. guru Peter Gutteridge. Needless to say, the Great Unwashed was an amazing band. This song is among my favorite ever dystopic post-apocalyptic type numbers, and since the inauguration has my leetle brain all conjuring a landscape that's very Mad Max meets Bosch painting, here 'tis...

The Robert Wyatt song is from the nifty Miniatures LP, an album of one-minute-long songs that's almost as good as the Resident's Commercial Album. It's the soundtrack to me trying to calm myself down but uhhh, it's not working, really, is it? The project was compiled by Morgan Fisher "who played keyboards with Love Affair, Mott the Hoople and Queen."

The Davy (or is it Davey???) Graham composition -- one of my favorite things he ever did -- is from the 1970 LP Godington Boundry, which Mark Ibold told me I must buy six years ago, so I did (thanks Mark!) This is the only kind of music that can calm me down when I get all freaked-out about our current state of affairs. The album's mostly covers (including Monk, the Beatles and Incredible String Band) but this tune's an original. The tabla player's name is Kesh Sathe, FYI.

PS: Don't forget about Joe Frank, OK? Okay.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Angus Dei Aus Licht

Download: BRISE GLACE "Angus Dei Aus Licht"

This track is from a double 7" tribute to AC/DC that Skin Graft released in '95. The Brise Glace track is not the band at all but (as I recall) 100% O'Rourke (one could say much the same thing about Rien of course though I guess that's supposed to be some sort of secret? Like how Grauerholz "assembled i.e. "wrote" so much of the Burroughs books from Cities of the Red Night on? Whatever, this is not a gossip site and beside I think I must be the only one who cares about any of that nonsense.) in a purely a cut and paste exercise, back when this sort of stuff was extremely tedious and exacting -- done with analog tape and a razor blade, not ProTools my friend. As a meeting point of exacting, process-oriented (more Reich than Ferrari, no?) minimalist composition and rock(ism), it's fucking rad. I love to DJ out with this 7", 'cause it confuses people a lot.

Rise and stay and

Download: CAMBERWELL NOW "Green Lantern"

The music by post-This Heat band Camberwell Now is kicking my ass today (along with forthcoming & new-ish albums from Antony and the Johnsons, Six Organs, Boom Bip, Caribou, Mu, Cass McCombs and Psapp -- and I kind of love the Superwolf album, too.) I think CN were around from '82-'84; the lineup was: Charles Hayward - voice, drums, kazoo, etc.; Trefor Goronwy - bass guitar, ukulele, voice, etc.; Stephen Rickard - studio and field recordings, tapework. Everything they did is available on this one compilation CD on RecRec (this here's taken from vinyl.) As AMG points out, CN is the most song-oriented project Hayward's done and as such the only thing that really ranks up there with his work in the by-now pretty renown This Heat. Though did you ever check Jim O'Rourke's This Heat tribute band Brise Glace? That shit was deep--best band that guy was ever in, for reals.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I hope these color are the ones you can eat

Download: AUGUST SONS "Decisions"

This song is taken from the 1994 release Sonnets & Parables on a label called Eyes In The Woods. I think I first heard of this group from the Grifters. Word was they were this trio of really bright backwoods Mississippi boys who made their own instruments and sounded kind of like the Red Krayola or Silver Apples and that they were led by this mad scientist type named Jerry Scruggs. I saw them twice when I lived in East Tennessee in the '90s; they were from Saucier, MS and were just mind-blowing live. The way they mixed messed-up electronics with the rock music was super prescient and like self-taught which made it far more amazing -- how many bands build their own electronics? Not enough, I say.

Life in the '80s can be brutal

Download: CHROME "Meet Me In The Subway"

Here's a spooky mother of a song for you. It's cold and rainy and I don't want to leave the house and this song sums my mood up rather well. "Meet Me" is from the 1979 Ralph Records "Left My Heart In San Francisco"-themed comp. LP Subterranean Modern -- four Bay area bands (Residents, Chrome, Tuxedomoon & MX-80 Sound) doing an average of three songs each, all of 'em covering "Left My Heart." Cover art by your favorite artist, Gary Panter. I believe the LP's never been reissued, and though the Chrome songs do appear on the Chrome Box, who's gonna get the Chrome Box when really all you need by them are their first two albums and these few tunes? You gotta give it up for bands who pretty much play all their songs in one beat. The drummer from Seattle's A-Frames does a great job with the Chrome beat, FYI. Someone else "copped" it as well, but I can't think right now.

PS: Bloodninja, I love you.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Happy MLK Day!

Download: MOFUNGO "Cannonfire"

Greetings. If you are working today, I hope it's of your own volition -- hard to think of another holiday worthy as this one.

This song is from the 1985 LP Frederick Douglass -- out of print, worth seeking out, and usually findable for less than $4. The pop 'zine/ website Trouser Press calls the album "unlistenable," and, while the more "tuneful" 1986 album Messenger Dogs of the Gods has always been my favorite, I'll have to disagree that the album is unlistenable since I just listened to it twice in a row. Mofungo has to be one of the least understood bands of the 1980s, and remain one of just a handful of bands who made political music that is not overly didactic nor musically suck-ass-y. Mofungo were named after a spicy Puerto Rican stew, they came out of the no wave scene in the Lower East Side, Elliott Sharp and Phil Dray were both in the band for awhile, and I always appreciated their not-always-so-ept ways with the vocals and the rhythm section. If you like Ut, the Fugs, and the Ex, and maybe have a thing for characters like Clarence 'Tom' Ashley, this might be your new favorite band.

PS: If you ever want to see a mellow, sweet, and generally very laidback person's face turn bright red, ask Elliott Sharp sometime about his relationship to Greg Ginn and SST.

Sunday, January 16, 2005


I think I just accidentally erased 95% of the mp3s on here due to the very funky interface software used by my host server -- and my idiocy of course! Hah!!! I shall be more careful in the future and try real hard not to break the Internet. EDITED TO SAY: ALL THE FILES EXCEPT FOR BLATANTLY X-MAS ONES SHOULD BE WORKING; PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF ANY OF THEM ARE NOT, AND REMEMBER TO NOT NOT LINK D'RECKLY TO THE DOWNLOADS FROM ANOTHER WEB PAGE AND TO ONLY DOWNLOAD ONCE. I'M CLOSE TO USING UP ALL MY SERVER SPACE AS IS AND DO NOT WANT TO DO LIKE OTHER MUSIC BLOGS DO AND ONLY PUT UP A COUPLE TUNES AT A TIME. OKAY. SORRY FOR SHOUTING.

I could never steal you from another

Download: THE LOFT "Why Does The Rain?"
Download: THE CHILLS "Rain (Peel Session)"
Download: KAREN DALTON "Little Bit of Rain"
Download: STINA NORDENSTAM "Purple Rain"
Download: THE CLEAN "Safe in the Rain (Live)"
Download: ANN PEEBLES "I Can't Stand the Rain"
Download: JUNE BRIDES "In the Rain (Rescue Session)"
Download: DOG FACED HERMANS "The Rain It Raineth"
Download: LAURA CANTRELL "Rain Boy" (Peel Session)"

Download: BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON "The Rain Don't Fall On Me"

Today we've had a little bit of an ice storm in Portland with freezing rain lightly coating everything like magical fairy dust of ha-hah so no one's leaving their house unless you want to see a video of yourself falling right on your ass or your car smashing into a concrete embankment played over and over again on the local news, the 'casters with their '90s helmet hair trying not to laugh right at your sore ass. I am trying to get work done but mostly just beginning to catch up on emails a bit and getting acquainted, finally, with Rick Bishop's second album, which is of course perfect.

The Loft song is my own personal anthem. Seriously, it might be the best-ever mope-dork song known to our solar system. The Chills song is from their second Peel session. The Karen Dalton tune is one of several Fred Neil covers on the only CD by her you can find. The Stina Nordenstam song is from her album of covers that's so good it made Jim O'Rourke abandon a similar project he was working on at the time. The Clean song is from, ummm, I forget, but it's from the last few years for sure. The Ann Peebles 1974 tune, pretty much her only hit, is instantly recognizable as having "that Hi Records sound." The June Brides song was, I believe, done for a radio broadcast. You have to love the Dog Faced Hermans. WFMU DJ and recent Matador signeee Laura Cantrell's song was recorded for her fourth Peel session. And that's thought to be Blind Willie Johnson's wife singing along with him there.

NASA has posted the sounds of the descent of the Huygens probe onto Saturn's moon Titan -- you can hear the alien winds as well as the radar echoing against the surface of the moon on these MP3s!

Friday, January 14, 2005

God must be in my refrigerator

Download: THE ELECTRIC EELS "Refrigerator (alt version)"

I was reminded today of life working in offices, and meetings, how dreadful they are, not for any real reason, mind you. But I love the way that management people read retarded as hell books and take extra seminars the whole point of which is to stay on top of jargon and to try to sound like managerial and "with it," you know? But how they always just sound kind of crazy and dumb instead but they don't know it and all the workers underneath 'em won't tell 'em that -- at my last and worst job of this ilk, this management person LOVED the phrase "low hanging fruit," used to denote an easy opportunity but it always just made me think of ball sacs and teabagging and the like. I could not hear her say it and not begin to crack up. This was just like two years ago but she also was in love with Internet lingo ca. 1998 which was just awesome -- "Let's take this discussion offline as I don't have the bandwidth and besides we should involve IT in this discussion." I love people in positions of power who are fake earnest and who talk to you like you are a bad kindergardener -- don't you??!

Originally recorded on May 25th, 1975, this example of personal "low hanging fruit" -- I was just listening to it and thought "I should blogger up this mother!" is taken from the 2001 Scat release Eyeball of Hell -- that disc is pretty rough sounding but it's hella rad (how West Coast am I?)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Two wings to veil my face

Download: REV. UTAH SMITH "Two Wings (1953 version)"

There are six known sides total by the great gospel slide guitarist/ singer Utah Smith, and on each of them his version of "Two Wings" is the A-Side! The song is rightfully on quite a few comp.s (with the original 1944 recording). You'd do well to get the complete recorded works of Smith and the also burning lap steel player Rev. Lonnie Farris -- one of my favorite Document discs ever -- it's the Rocket from the Tombs to the Sacred Steel phenom's Rocket from the Crypt. I have a slight preference for this here version of the tune, the first re-recording from 1953, which is only on the Document CD as far as I know (and about 234 mix CDs I've made for friends over the last few years.)

And twice on Sundays

Download: PRINCE BUSTER "Ten Commandments"

The ultimate anthem of the MLF (male liberation front). It's a joooooooke, OK? Maybe not the funniest one, but hey. Taken from vinyl and it sounds funkier/ more bass-heavy than the CD version. Sorry so short today -- super busy with lots of things.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pigeon feathers in your mouth

Download: CASS McCOMBS "City of Brotherly Love (Peel Session)"

I am seriously considering driving two hours later this month to Eugene, OR to see Cass McCombs open up for the most cynically derivate and heinously untalented (but other than that they're totally OK) band in America right now, and then drive two hours right back that night as soon as the headlining act gets started. I adore Cass McCombs yes I do. Wish he was playing Dunes instead of a stadium two hours away, but hey, I didn't make this world...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ride on, ride on, you rank riders

Download: JUNE TABOR "Bonny Mae"

I got quite a few emails from friends re: the Nic Jones track so I'll post more soon. In the meantime, here's one of the best songs from June Tabor's brilliant first album from 1976, Airs and Graces -- download for cheap or buy this thing right now; it's stupendous. Nic Jones plays guitar on this song and throughout (though the very best songs are purely a capella.) I first heard of Tabor about a dozen years ago from that musician/ scribe with big ears, Bob Bannister; AMG calls her probably the finest female traditional British folk singer of the late 20th century -- if not the best British folk singer of her time, period. Uhh, so there!!! A 4 disc Tabor box set is rumored to be due from Topic shortly.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Everytime you walk away (something something something)

Download: JUNE BRIDES "One Day (Peel Session)"

Found this 12" in Seattle last weekend for $3; man, was I psyched! Here's an awesome piece by the guy who started their label, FYI. I love that the guy wrote this: Finally however, our bands simply weren't that good. [The June Brides' leader] Phil Wilson had flashes of brilliance but was too wrapped up in the do it yourself mentality of punk to really sustain success in the mainstream, and his voice was also somewhat suspect (bless him!). When I first heard Belle & Sebastian, I took them for a bit of a June Brides knockoff, actually. Though I think I am the only person in the world who thinks this, unlike, say, thinking that Slumber Party sounds like the Shop Assistants... According to the JB website, this fine little pop dirge was recorded "at BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, 22 October 1985." I think I recorded it with too much bass in the mix.

The holy ghost got me

Download: SWAN SILVERTONES "What's The Matter Now?"

Had a great time DJ'ing the Delta Cafe [the cheese grits? super tasty; the $? more than I expected; and the booty? the booties were bouncing!) last night -- response to "Ping Island" was soo crazy!--with the lovely/ talented DJ Fur Purse. Ohhh and speaking of public engagements I am officially scared about reading at Powell's with Colin, Douglas and Michaelangelo on Monday in honor of the great 33 1/3 series.

I get really frightened doing anything up on a stage or in front of a camera. I might faint! I almost did when I read at St. Marks Church 11 years ago. But, luckily, I am the only one reading from an unfinished unpublished and overdue work. Probably the only one whose printer is on the fritz as well. Ohh and my new pal Lucy just told me the chapter I'd planned to read sucks and I believe her. Shit, I might just read from the last chapter, which is an epilogue about Rafael Toral's awesome Loveless tribute Wave Field! Yi yi. We'll see. It's not like it's tomorrow or anything. Loving my new North PDX digs though the novelty of not having direct access to much of my books, LPs, clothes, CDs, etc. as a result of them being stuck inside a hundred boxes is beginning to wear thin. Frijole, I have too much stuff.

Speaking of stuff, this here song is from a discounted stack of gospel 7"s I picked up at the Haight Amoeba over the holidays, a terrific Swans number featuring both Claude Jeter and Louis Johnson.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Never go sailing with a murderer

Download: NIC JONES "William Glen"

OK I guess it's been a pretty Anglophilic week so I'll end it with an olde sailinge songe by the ultra-rad Nic Jones. The quality is a tad funky -- there's at least one skip, as it is from vinyl -- off the 1978 album From the Devil to a Stranger, somehow never released on CD. His album Penguin Eggs is, seriously, the best trad British folk album of the last 25 years. It's perfect. The fact that SEVEN albums of his career (solo plus as part of the Halliard) are not on disc is hard for me to fathom, though. Also, the guy's not performed in twenty-plus years due to his barely surviving a terrible auto wreck that left him incapable of playing with the same facility he once had, and as I'm a sentimental dork my heart-strings are totally tugged on by that alone. Anyway, hope you like this tune, but seriously, as good as it is -- P.E. is like ten times better.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Eddie knows a bit about alienation

Download: YEAH YEAH NOH "Temple of Convenience"

One of my favorite reworkings of "La Bamba," "Temple" is classic smartypants near-groove, a vaguely Situationist-y (well, surely these folks read VAGUE!) twistin'-in-your-fancy-slacks number by one of the four best bands to be clearly influenced by the Fall (and you have to drop major props for them being influenced by the Fall back in the early '80s, not, like, yesterday.) Like The Loft and June Brides and possibly Shop Assistants and maybe Blurt and the Membranes and the Creepers, Yeah Yeah Noh are a truly nifty British band from the '80s that it's not so easy to find stuff by these days. Like these others, they were championed by John Peel, and yes, this song is taken from an LP of Peel Sessions. I love how quite a few bands used snippets of Peel's voice on their records -- Pooh Sticks anyone?! Anyone?

I hardly know anything about Yeah Yeah Noh. There's one best-of comp. with a really ugly cover on Cherry Red that should be easy to find actually (as an import), though it leans too heavily toward the group's later material. The group hit their apex with three 7" EPs from 1984 on In Tape -- the "Cottage Industry" EP, the "Beware the Weakling Lines" EP, and of course the absolutely brilliant "Prick Up Your Ears" EP. These EPs were compiled onto the 1985 longplayer When I Am a Big Girl, also on In Tape. Find it. That and the Peel sessions LP Fun on the Lawn Lawn Lawn are really all you need. Try Gemmmmmmm. Dude from Trouser Press (only place I could find info. about 'em online -- thank you Anglophiles!) says this: "Unpolished, raw pop gems with smartass lyrics. Cymbal-less drums and chunky bass lines form a foundation for modest guitar work and Derek Hammond's deadpan baritone. Great fun." Hope you agree.

This weight has been placed upon you

Download: NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL "Ferris Wheel On Fire"

This is probably everyone's favorite unrecorded NMH track, I know -- not too much of a "rarity." But of all the versions floating about, this one from San Francisco in June of '98 is my favorite. I need to listen to this song on average once a week. Has it really been almost seven years since Neutral Milk Hotel released a record? Note: That was a rhetorical question. The answer is that yes, it indeed has. I have heard from Jeff in the last half a year or so -- nothing much, just traded emails a bit -- and he seems really happy and stuff. I think it's cool for me to say that he might have made some music with Jeremy Barnes, surely one of the ten best drummers alive, which is very exciting to me. But, you know, don't expect to hear it anytime soon or anything. Unless it makes its way onto the next Hack and a Hacksaw record, which supposedly Leaf is releasing fairly soon.

Monday, January 03, 2005

I've had trials and tribulations...

Download: HIGHWAY QCs "Somewhere To Lay My Head"

Ahhhh. This is the song I was looking for last night. It's the tune I got the name for the blog from. Many gospel songs speak of being "(re)buked and scorned" but this's the one I happened to fall in love with. It was on a cheapo comp. of golden age gospel I picked up ten years ago at that weird little shop (Stuz?) that used to be across the street from Tompkins Square Books (RIP), this import CD with no information aside from song titles (welcome to gospel collecting!) that nonetheless served as a totally great intro. -- I'd never heard of the QCs or Inez Andrews or the Swan Silvertones or the Caravans or Dixie Hummingbirds and they were all on this thing, which had a photo of one of the groups (I think the Swans) superimposed on top of a blackjack wheel on the cover, hah. How clueless and excellent!

This style of mournful, sweet, slow, stomping gospel always gets to me, especially when done with such perfection as on "Somewhere," one of the Highway QCs' best-known numbers. Holy fuck, do I love this band.

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Download: DOROTHY LOVE COATES "There's A God Somewhere"
Download: JAKE HOLMES "It's Always Somewhere Else"
Download: SHOP ASSISTANTS "Somewhere In China"
Download: PRISONERS "Somewhere"

Here are a few themed tunes at once, with apologies to fluxblog (though, like any other geek, I made mix tapes with name-kinda/ every kinda theme back as early as I can remember.) Tonight I was searching for a totally different song with "somewhere" in the title and couldn't find it, so here's these four instead. I also have Sun Ra's take on "Somewhere over the Rainbow," the song "Somewhere" on Zen Arcade, and Six Organ's amazing "Somewhere Between" handy, but I'm still trying to stick to 'rare' things, much as my definition of 'rare' is fairly loose. Songs with "somewhere" in the title tend to be reflective, hence perhaps they are well-suited to the new year? Let's pretend so.

Dorothy Love Coates was a gospel singer prominent in the late '50s/ early '60s who may not have been too technically talented but she could shout her way through any song and leave you breathless just from listening. This song is totally punk rock.

Jake Holmes is a groovy singer-songer from the late '60s best known for having "Dazed & Confused" stolen from him, although clearly he should be known for his music too, even though he wrote the Army's "Be All You Can Be" jingle. This song is typically compared to something off of Forever Changes.

Scottish combo the Shop Assistants are one of my favorite ever bands. This song is taken off their second 7" EP, the one with "Safety Net" on it, released in1985 on the 53rd & 3rd label (I always loved that this group of fresh-faced pop people in Scotland -- Stephen Pastel, Sandy McLean & Dave Keegan -- named their label for the Ramones' ode to male hustling). "China" is among their most restrained / whispy tunes; not everything they did was like this -- dude, that'd be like a cake made only out of super delicate icing or something.

The Prisoners were garage rockers from the early '80s in Chatham, and they recorded what might be the best-ever tribute to another band in "Here Come The Misunderstood," a song you must track down (I first heard it on the 1985 Pink Dust LP Revenge of the Prisoners and you're more likely to find it on the Big Beat CD reissue of the original LP it appeared on in the UK, WISERMISERDEMELZA). Trouser Press rightly pinned them as being somewhere between the Lyres and the Headcoats. This is not their very best song, but it's the one that adheres to the theme here, so, you'll eat your peas and like it!

PS: The only best-of 2004 list you need to read is right here.
I'm not posting mine since it'll be up on the VOICE site soon enough and my new year's resolution is to stop being so fricking Rain Man with all the lists, already.