Thursday, April 28, 2005

As the lemon light creeps in, like a song that you'd forgotten

That's really a perfect description of Hotel Lights. I can't say much more than that.

Don't know who they are? Here's a description from their site:

Darren Jessee started Hotel Lights after many years of writing songs, playing drums and touring with Ben Folds Five. After leaving the now-famous pop group, Jessee moved from his home base of Chapel Hill, North Carolina to live an ex-pat, anonymous life in New York City. He quietly played solo shows around town, trying out newly written songs and dreaming about making a record.

Realizing Hotel Lights could never be just a solo project, he moved back to NC to put together his ideal band: former Archers of Loaf drummer Mark Price, Roger Gupton (bass, vocals), and Chris Badger (keyboards, guitar). They took their time arranging and rehearsing, eventually recording at the Sound of Music in Virginia, with producer and guitarist Al Weatherhead, now a full-time member of the band.

There's some high-level credibility there. Check them out if you haven't already.

Hotel Lights - you come and i go
Hotel Lights - I am a train

There are three more tracks up at their site, head over there to get them. You won't be disapointed. You can purchase their CD over at CDBaby.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Country New Wave

If you haven't seen this already...well, I can't say you should but...

Well, maybe you should.

Country New Wave

It's real player, so you know...bear with it.

Fembots are go!

I had such a hard time taking these guys seriously, I wasn't even interested in checking them out, their name was such a turn-off for me. I had this feeling they would be this indie-pop joke band, with tunes that weren't really funny. Boy, was I wrong.

The Fembots are much more serious than that and their music, well, it's something else entirely. You could probably put the alt-country tag to them, but that's like saying the Scud Mountain Boys are alt-country. It just doesn't paint a complete picture. And don't get me wrong, there's a sense of humor in their songs, it's just a bit darker than you might expect.

Check them out, I think you won't be disapointed.

Fembots - 1000000 Dead End Jobs
Fembots - Small Town Murder Scene

More bands should use the saw, don't you think...such an eerie, otherworldly sound.

Visit their site as well, they've got a couple of music videos up there as well as a couple of other tracks (although the links seem to be dead at the moment).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I've stumbled, not fallen

Every once in awhile, I'll stumble across some music that surprises me. Such is the case with today's tracks. Bajofondo Tango Club presents: Supervielle. The name alone is worth the price of admission. Now before I go hyping this all over the place, let me say a couple of things. First, the album as a whole is good, not great. It easily fits next to Kruder & Dorfmeister, artists in that vein. Mostly instrumental, it's got a nice downtempo vibe that doesn't threaten and pervade, it sort of melds into the environment.

Here's what little I know. It seems that Bajofondo Tango Club is a spanish group focusing on melding the sounds of traditional Tango music with that of electronica and hip-hop. Luciano Supervielle is a member of the band, a keyboardist, and this is his solo album.

What I hear is not far off from their goal; there's a lot of nice use of natural instrumentation (violin, viola, cello, etc.) with more traditional electronica sounds. The key here is that some of is not as far off from the norm as you might expect, but when he stretches his legs and really runs with it, he creates some pretty nice stuff. Some of it is due to the vocal choices he makes, some to the instrumentation.

Check out two of the tracks that really stood out for me.

Supervielle - Miles de Pasajeros REMOVED
Supervielle - Leonel, el Feo REMOVED

I did find a short interview with Luciano:

The fact is that I do hip hop. The things that serve me as the tango are those that I can associate with my genre. As in all work of experimentation, there are things that stay of side. But the tango and the hip hop share a dance origin, then there are many things that one knows that it can associate. Anyhow, if I do a contribution to some evolution it is to that of the hip hop or of the electronic music, not to that of the tango. The new tango is going to arise from a type that is tanguero, that it dedicates ten hours per day to doing tango. And if it approaches the electronic music, it will do it from the tango. I am of another side.

There are some more downloads over at Bajofondo Tango Club's site, so be sure to visit there as well. Unfortunately, Luciano's site is not super friendly. I also found a link over at The Topic is Tango, with some more information about the band and some links to some performances and other song samples, so head over there if you want some more information. Here's an Amazon link as well.

Anyone feel like tackling some basic translation? My overly simple command of the language is not sufficient to get much more than the occasional sentence. Love to know what the summary of the songs topics are.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I've been hit

So I got some sad news today. Michael Zimmerman, one of the contributing writers and all around good guy over at Heraclitussayz has died. I don't want to go into the details of his death, it is both tragic and sad. He is the guy who talked me into trying to do reviews over at their site, and he put up with my lack of experience and lack of time as well. He will be missed.


So, it's Monday, as if you didn't know...and well here's your video treat for the week. It's a double whammy, as the first portion is so freakin' short. I've got this strange collection of old videos and this is one that's a bit rarer than most. Awhile back, a company called Target Video released a bunch of vhs compilations, mainly punk bands and mainly performance based. I believe they were mostly shot and put together by a guy named Joe Rees. The footage was intercut with found video from various sources and they were an experience. Here's a clip from Underground Forces 5, It's two clips, the first is Bad Brains, the second the Circle climb into your punk rock wayback machine and enjoy.

Underground Forces - Bad Brains/Circle Jerks (quicktime)

The quality isn't the best, it's an ooooold tape. Beware, it doesn't start as you expect. Give it a few seconds.

Bonus points if you name the songs (it's not that hard)...

Apparently, Target Video is releasing some old stuff from their archives...there's a couple available right now, including The Cramps, The Stranglers and the Screamers, all of them are being released through MVD. You can purchase through them as well.

Boing Boing: David Byrne sounds off on "cultural censorship"

BBC: DRM makes music customers mad

Sunday, April 24, 2005

German crooner's megaphone-style covers of modern rock

Another Boing Boing tip:

Charles sez, "Max Raabe is a German crooner, who has been making a name for himself and his band over the last couple years doing hilarious cover versions of pop songs Roaring 20's style. If you ever wondered what 'Oops I Did It Again' would sound like if sung by Fred Astaire then this is for you."

Boing Boing: German crooner's megaphone-style covers of modern rock

Friday, April 22, 2005

Howl's Moving Castle

Cartoon Brew just posted a link to the new trailer for Miyazaki's Howl's Moving looks wonderful...

Howl'a Moving Castle (quicktime)

555 recordings

555 Recordings has a load of mp3s at their site for your perusal...includes Kanda, Boyracer and the Lucky Dragons.


Why can't I hear anything?

I've been taking some advanced math, you know theoretical stuff. Here's what I've learned recently.

Kaiser Chiefs = ((Eggstone+1)attitude) - romantic notions REMOVED

I don't know, the teacher said that no one was able to disprove it as of yet...anyone? I guess that formula justifies why I like them.

Also, in my cooking class I found this new recipe.

The Bravery

1 cup of the Cure
1 cup of U2
2 cups of milk
1 egg

In a small bowl, blend the Cure and U2 together until smooth. Sift the mixture until most of the originality is removed. Blend egg and milk into sifted mixture. Pour into muffin tin and bake at 250 for 37.4 minutes. Makes 11 muffins.

I haven't tried it yet. I'm a little reluctant because I'm not sure if they're talking old U2 or new U2. If it's new, I'm afraid that sifting out the originality will leave just the Cure. It must be old U2.

It's not that I don't like the disc, it's just that once you get to track 7 (Public Service Announcement) you feel like you've heard it all before. Twice.

And man, is Public Service Announcement the worst song on there or what? The lyrics are just horrible. I'm coming down to hard on them, aren't I? Really, it's not a bad disc, it's just that it's not extremely original either. And could they add any more effects to his voice? Okay, so I never would have bought it. Getting promos sure is nice, isn't it?

I'm stingy with words
All binge, no purge
You put the broke in broken hearted
You put the art in retarded

Before you put the broke in broken hearted was it just en hearted? And really, unless I'm retarded...where's the an art in there? Maybe they put the re in retarded.

Maybe I should just shut up.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Amazon directory of free MP3 downloads

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

This blackboard lacks a piece of chalk

Back in 1983, Stewart Copeland and Stanard Ridgway did a track together for the movie Rumble Fish, the soundtrack was released on CD, but is no longer in print. Here are two tracks from a single released to support the soundtrack of the movie. The first features Stan on vocals, the second is an instrumental, which isn't available on the CD. If you're familiar with Stewarts instrumental works from this time, there are definite strains of "Equalizer" in the instrumental.

Stewart Copeland & Stanard Ridgway - Don't Box Me In REMOVED
Stewart Copeland - Drama At Home REMOVED

That just may be my shortest post ever...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Boing Boing exclusive: New work from illustrators Kozyndan

Exclusive preview of their new work over at Boing Boing... great stuff...

Boing Boing: BB exclusive: New work from illustrators Kozyndan

The train is leaving

Don't know if you been aboard yet, but if you have the time, check out James Apollo. Some nice music over there. "Tumbleweed sounds," to quote the man.

James Apollo - Dead Men Weigh More
James Apollo - Three Birds

There's more at his site, so please visit if you have the time. His latest album was just released on April 12 and is also available on iTunes.

James Apollo

Edwyn Collins: Update again

From his wife, Grace, on April 18th:

Update again:
"Well, Edwyn's surgery went off without incident. He was understandably wiped out for a couple of days. He still has some infection in there which they are doing battle with. His fighting powers against these predatory infections is consistently ridiculously strong but I'm sure you all get it when I say I'm right back in the worry zone. Giving you these updates isn't a bother for me. On the contrary I've come to rely on your messages to get me off to sleep. Hmm. I've a feeling Edwyn might call this attention seeking. By the way, he has been singing these past few days. His tuning needs working on...Love Grace"

Can you read the stars...

Nyles Lannon - The Nature of Things

I few days ago I highlighted the work of Nyles Lannon, a San Francisco based musician. Shortly after that I contacted him and was lucky enough to have him agree to an interview. As with most things I do...I tried to make it a little bit different. I didn't want to ask the same questions you hear everywhere else. But at the same time, I didn't want to make it sound like I was trying to make it a weird interview, asking questions for the sake of asking different questions. Instead, I wanted to get into his head a bit, try to understand him and why he does what he does. Hopefully, I succeeded, even if just a little bit.

1) What is your first musical memory?
There was always a lot of music around me when I was growing up. My parents have great taste in music and introduced me to countless records. It was always something that we enjoyed together -I have so many memories of playing with my legos or Star Wars figures while my dad listened to his new records. As I've gotten older I've gone back to their collection again and again and discovered new things.

2) What was the first album/CD/tape that you remember purchasing?
The first one was Blondie Autoamerican, Air Supply Lost in Love...

The last?
I haven't been buying much music because I am broke and have been for the last few years! I haven't figured out yet how to put out records and live comfortably. I usually trade music with bands I play with or I'm given records by friends or labels. The last thing I got that I really liked was a CD from my friends in Thee More Shallows.

3) Has there been anything lately in your life that unexpectedly struck you as beautiful?
It happens all the time when you are writing music, especially when you are experimenting with software. Suddenly something will pop out and you will record it, not knowing if you really like it or not, and then you will go back and listen and it will be the best thing you've done all week. That is what I do with my n.Ln project, it's all electronic experimentation. I'm working on another n.Ln record right now for Highpoint Lowlife Records.

4) Of all of the things that you own, what is the one material thing you couldn't do without?
I'm very light on the possessions. I have a computer that I kind of need for making music, but that is all. I spend all my money on food and travel. Even my gear is light, I only have the bare minimum.

5) If you could go back and change one decision that you made in the past, what would it be and why?
I try not to get caught up in wishing I had done something differently in the past or regretting
certain decisions; I prefer to live in the moment and just focus on the things I have right now. It's so easy to beat yourself up about bad decisions or wrong turns. The fact is they are just part of life. There are always better ways to do things, shorter paths that only wisdom can illuminate, but wisdom comes with a price. I've worked at corporations, had destructive
relationships, wasted a lot of time, all of it...but here I am and things are good, and I know now what I want and what to stay away from. So I'm not complaining.

n.Ln - I Never Heard

6) What's your favorite part of the music making process?
I love writing songs and having something create itself out of nothing. It is really exciting to see songs evolve, they kind of write themselves. And then when you start to put together an entire album it can be really fun.

7) What's your best musical memory?
It's a wonderful feeling to finally have something in your hand that you have created. Your kids will someday see it, their kids, etc. There is something timeless about releasing a record. My parents love it.

8) What's the most frightening thing that's ever happened to you?
Thinking I was losing my mind when I was 25. That was scary.

9) What's your favorite television show, film or book?
I dont watch TV. My favorite movie has to be Spinal Tap - I mean, I can pretty much quote the whole thing at this point! :)

10) How old is your oldest piece of clothing?
I still wear a shirt that I bought when I was 18. Its ripped all over but I love it and wear it on stage all the time. It had aliens on it and they are disecting a human.

11) What instrument strikes you as being capable of producing the most beautiful sound?
I dont think there is anything more beautiful than the human voice.

12) How annoying are these questions?
They are hard! But at least you didnt ask me my influences!

Please go and visit Nyles at one of his three sites, he's not reluctant to share his music.

Nyles Lannon
n.Ln music
Film School

And his labels:

Highpoint Lowlife Records
Badman Records

Monday, April 18, 2005

Captain Scarlet is Indestructible

Check out the cool camera case my love made for me:

The picture doesn't really do it justice, because with the camera in it, he looks like he just ate. I usually leave the cord hanging out...and it's quite funny.


So, with only a small bit of feedback on my experiment (all of it positive), I've decided to go ahead and take a leap of faith here and take another step. I'd love to hear from more of you as to whether or not this something you're enjoying or if I should just forget it. Come on, speak!

That being said, what I'm toying with is making Mondays the music video day. Every Monday, I'll post a new music video for your viewing pleasure. Most of them will be older and hopefully a bit obscure.

For today, let's sit back and listen's Big Audio Dynamite with Sightsee M.C.

B.A.D. - Sightsee M.C. (quicktime) REMOVED

Now there's a couple of cool things about this video that I'd like to mention. It's style is very different from any other B.A.D. video. It's slower paced with longer shots and lots of slow motion. It was also shot in black and white and has a lot more of an emotional edge to it than their other videos. And here's why: it's directed by Jim Jarmusch. Yes, that's right. Director of Ghost Dog, Dead Man, Coffee and Cigarettes, Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train, etc. He even makes a little cameo.

I'm pretty sure that's him, looking all leathered out. Personally, I also love the people in it...the time period they capture is great, their outfits and moves are timeless. This is also during the time when the members of the band were at their best in terms of outfits as well...very over the top baseball hats and accessories...loved that stuff.

As an added bonus, I've reposted a link to a BAD song I had up a few weeks ago.

Big Audio Dynamite - Sight See West London REMOVED

So please, take some time to give me some input on this. Interested in seeing more of these?

And a special thanks to those who've already commented. If you missed the first music video I posted, go check it out here.

Here's the Amazon link for your Big Audio Dynamite fix. And Mick's latest project, Carbon/Silicon.

Pilgrim's Progress - Owner of a Lonely Mash-Up

Pilgrim's Progress just put up this link, and it's sweeter than he implied...go check it out, you have to register to download all of the songs at the Mochipet site, but it's worth it just for this one track. Oh, that one track is:

The Adventures of Flamenco Boy....

Pilgrim's Progress - Owner of a Lonely Mash-Up

I'm becomming the King of Ellipses...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Okay kids, pay attention...

So I got two comments on this posting of the music video (see this post here), both positive. But that's not really enough for me to justify taking the time to do this. Give me a yeah or a nay here, more quicktimes or not?

Speak now or forever regret it. Or maybe you guys don't really care. Let me know either way. Otherwise, what's the point?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

NIN's Trent Reznor releases song as GarageBand file

Friday, April 15, 2005

Edwyn Collins: Another update

I fell behind on this one, but On April 12th, Grace (Edwyn's wife) wrote:

Another update: "Edwyn's infection has become problematical enough for his surgeons to decide to remove the newly replaced boneflap altogether. So surgery tomorrow morning. This should be straightforward but I wouldn't mind you sending him your positive vibrations or whatever it is you've been doing so far just to help him on the way. It also means that at some point in the future (maybe six months) Edwyn will have a lovely titanium custom made plate. Anyway, we'll get this bit of setback out the way and get on with it. When asked to describe how he felt about this additional surgery his answer was 'relaxed.' What a man. Love, Grace"

get out of my house

So, I'm trying something new today...added a little visual treat for you... Let me know what you think...should I do more?

Remember this song?

The Blow Monkeys - Digging Your Scene (quicktime) - REMOVED

Check out that attitude...that suit...those girls...and it goes on and on.

Well, before that album, there was the 1984 release, Limping For a Generation. It was a little less soul-induced, and Dr. Robert was less of a pretty-boy at the time, too.

The Blow Monkeys - Go Public REMOVED

As far as I can tell, this album was never released on CD, although tracks from it have made it to compilations over the years. This track, however, doesn't seem to be on any release.

Dr. Robert is still out there making music, some of it pretty good. He's worked recently with Paul Weller (the Jam, Style Council) and has a new album slated for the end of this summer (2005). He also recently helped compile a new T. Rex/Marc Bolan compilation and penned the liner notes, which is also up at his site. Check it out.

Head over here to find out what's currently available by the Blow Monkeys at Amazon and from Dr. Robert.

Woman "beats off burglar with gnome"

What is the world coming to? Poor little gnome...
Boing Boing: Woman "beats off burglar with gnome"

Prototype iPod DJ mixer

Via Boing Boing which was via Gizmodo:

Boing Boing: Prototype iPod DJ mixer

You know you want one...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

RJD2: 1976

Screenhead pointed this out, nice song, great video:

RJD2 : 1976

Boing Boing: Punk rock in the holy land

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Work! Work! In and out and In and Out!

I'm not even going to try to get into a history lesson on this one...let's just say that before Alain Jourgensen became ALAIN JOURGENSEN he was, well, a wee bit new romantic, a wee bit synth-pop. He was not the man you know. The man of MINISTRY and REVOLTING COCKS and all the other projects he was involved with. No, he was this man:

These guys look so much alike, I'm not sure which one is the real Alain. Hmmm.

Now remember, we're talking 1983 here, kids. That's a looong time ago.

He made music that would surprise you, especially if you're familiar with the later stuff he was involved with. It's funny, but when my wife and I first got married, we went through our music collections and weeded out the duplicates. This was a band that we had no overlap with - this is the only Ministry album I owned, she owned all the others. So, the collection was complete, united, as one. I still maintain this is his masterpiece, although I believe he doesn't like to talk about it.

Ministry - Work For Love REMOVED
Ministry - I Wanted To Tell Her (listen to that bass!) REMOVED

Wow. And like so many times before, it's only available used. So click over and buy it from Amazon. Quick. There's only 8 left.

Monday, April 11, 2005

We all need a personal mascott

If things get any crazier, I just might explode.

If only, eh?

Remember the Naysayer post I did a few bits ago? Well, the Naysayer shares a label with Mascott, another player of beautiful music. Like a bad parent, I'm gonna play favorites here with the Naysayer, but Mascott is riding in at a close second. Her music is like dipping your toes in the creek on a hot day, your pants rolled up, holding hands.

Mascott is, more or less, Kendall Meade. She's serious about her music: Hellium, Spinanes and Sparklehorse all decorate her resume. Combine that with the fact that she runs her own label and you've got an impressive list of accomplishments. Check out her site with the cheerleaders and her label, Red Panda Records. Red Pandas are cute.

From the 2005 release, Dreamer's Book:
Mascott - Song From a Dream (it's not the normal routine, you'll have to click and let it take you to the song)

From the 1998 release, Electric Poems:
Mascott - Baby, Go Away

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Animal Vs Buddy Rich

Via Rummage Through The Crevices, Animal takes on Buddy Rich. From an old Muppet show. He's showing off, of course, but what an amazing drummer.

Animal versus Buddy Rich

And Animal's look of disbelief is great.

It's Velocity Girl

Chromewaves just did a post on Velocity Girl, check it out:

.: v5.0: Velocity Girl

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I'll do anything

If you don't know n.ln or n. lannon, well, you should. And let me introduce you.

This is n.ln. He's a bit on the warm electronic side, like that little tingle you feel on your lips when you kiss someone you're in love with.

n.Ln - Home Planetarium

This is his big brother, N. Lannon. A bit more mature, maybe, more willing to speak out in the open. His music is a memory, like the ice cream that's melting, dripping off the cone, you having to chase it down before it's lost.

N. Lannon - Turn Time Around
N. Lannon - Demons

Really they're the same person, just different sides of a coin. Nyles is also in Film School, what a busy little beaver.

Be sure to pay him a visit, he's very kind and sharing. Lots of music for you to listen to and be bathed in.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Edwyn Collins: Update

Again, from Grace, Edwyn's wife on the Edwyn Collins bulletin board.

Edwyn's latest news

"Sorry this has been a wee while. I spend all day every day with Edwyn and the rest of life is slipping out of my grasp... Thank God for our wonderful family and friends' support. Edwyn has made wonderful progress since my last message. He moves to his neuro rehabilitation unit on Thursday, (a place with a wonderful reputation) which means that he is now officially medically fit. I should stress that although his recovery so far is amazing, he has a huge task in front of him. You do not survive the events he has without many problems. However, if motivation counts, he has it in spades. He achieves new stuff each day through sheer effort and determination. I want to thank everyone at the Royal Free Hospital who have been involved with his care, especially his genius neurosurgeons, all staff on ITU and the wonderful team on the ward he's been on these last weeks. I have no real to say how I feel about what they have given us. And of course to all you lot for fighting the good fight with us every step of the way. Love to you, Grace."

...but my mouth forgot to ask...

I've posted a few rockabilly/psychobilly bands before, but the band that has been at the top of my list for 20 or so years is the Guana Batz. They managed to maintain a certain edge to their music, especially in their live shows, while still showing a strong belief in the roots of the sound. The band is still together, although in a different form than so long ago, mainly because the lead singer, Pip, moved from England to California.
There was a period of time where Pip was playing with Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker, of the Stray Cats, and calling themselves the Guana Cats. That's a show I would've liked to have seen.
Anyway, here are two tracks from some of their ealier material, both from 12" singles originally released in 1986. You might recognize the first, I think it's a cover (nod, nod, wink, wink).

Guana Batz - I'm On Fire REMOVED
Guana Batz - B-Side Blues REMOVED

You can purchase the Guana Batz through a variety of locations, including Amazon or Harry May Records. I'd recommend their first full length, Held Down to CD at Last.

And I wanted to say thanks for everyone who checks in here every day and for putting up with my inconsistent schedule the last couple of weeks.

Here's my random 15 out of iTunes:
Jonathan Richman - Astral Plane
Pavement - Starlings of the Slipstream
Joe Jackson - Is She Really Going Out With Him?
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Pant Leg
Poets of Rhythm - Moira
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Walking to Do
Cornelius - Wataridori 2
Deltron 3030 - Virus
Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark - Annex
Rites of Spring - Drink Deep
Tommy McClennan - Baby, Please Don't Tell On Me
A Certain Ratio - Thin Boys
Prince Far I - Put It Out
Big Audio Dynamite - Sony
Gavin Friday + Interference - Who By Fire

How's that for random?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Of Montreal and Petra Hayden videos

You Ain't No Picasso pointed it out and I wanted to like it but it's just okay. Kind of boring actually, which is unfortunate. Some of the animation is nice, but it just doesn't go anywhere, doesn't evoke any mood. Oh well.

Of Montreal - So Begins Our Alabee Video

You Ain't No Picasso also has a link to Petra Hayden singing Wuthering Heights that's pretty amazing, well, the video's not the best quality but the song is...(it's originally a Kate Bush track). Check that out as well.

New Orange Juice Compilation

And Indie MP3 leads you to the pitchfork announcement.

Indie MP3 - Keeping C86 Alive!: New Orange Juice Compilation

Relax Brother, Relax

If you haven't already, you really should go check this out. I've mentioned it before, but it deserves mentioning again, especially because Five's almost made it into the top ten with this release. So go, check it out...push him up there!

Relax Brother, Relax: A Twentieth Anniversary Tribute to Teenbeat Records [MMM025]

Q&A with Patti Smith

Billy Wolf of Guitar Wolf dies

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